Times Square is known for the eccentric, the loud, the colorful, and the creative. It is no wonder that legendary artist Marta Minujín, someone described by Times Square Arts Director Jean Cooney as “more Times Square than Times Square itself,” was chosen to create a massive public sculpture in the heart of the city. Minujín’s Sculpture of Dreams was unveiled today, and you can get inside!
Sculpture of Dreams towers over 30 feet tall, making it one of the largest art installations to ever be shown in Times Square. It is made of 16 different inflatable pieces that come together to form an immersive passageway of bright colors and fun patterns. Visitors are invited to walk through the underbelly of the work and whisper their deepest hopes and dreams into the interior as recordings of birdsong play.
Gritty Old Times Square Tour
The piece references some of Minujín’s earlier installations, like her use of mattresses as a medium in a series created in the 60s. Similar to Sculpture of Dreams, this piece used segments of the mattresses to twist together and form a sculpture in itself. Minujín’s inflatable work was also shown at Lollapalooza Argentina in 2022. The TImes Square sculpture marks her New York debut.
Marta Minujín is in the sixth decade of her career, and she has no plans of stopping anytime soon. The artist from Argentina has spent sixty years creating installations, video pieces, and performances that changed the course of generations of Latin American contemporary art. Minujín goes against the grain with her work, crafting environments that put viewers at the center of social situations, throwing at them the allure of modern media and pop culture. Minujín is no stranger to this style of conceptual art. She has staged performances with chickens and motorcycles, created sculptures out of cheese and stacks of banned books, and once even had the idea of making a Statue of Liberty replica out of fast food hamburgers.
The extraordinary element of Minujín’s art and persona is her ability to stay true to herself despite living in many times and places. She grew up in Buenos Aires in the 50s, heading to the US in the 60s, and bounced between exhibits in Paris, London, and her hometown in the years in between. Despite all this, her art has remained her own, not affected by the modern pressure of the artistic world or the differing creative views in the cities of our world. Minujín’s capability to bring this sense of self-expression to modern art has cemented her as an icon of Latin American conceptual art.
The Times Square installation will coincide with Minujín’s first American survey exhibition, held at the Jewish Museum on New York City’s famed Museum Mile. Titled Arte! Arte! Art!, the exhibit will include almost 100 works from her personal archive as well as private collections, giving viewers a look into the timeline of Minujín’s art. The exhibition will follow her career in Buenos Aires as well as the countless other cities she called home, through an array of mattress sculptures, bright paintings, psychedelic performances, and a range of documentation of her life and happenings. Guests can also view rarely-seen photographs and videos of the process and creation of Sculpture of Dreams. The exhibition is promised to reflect Minujín’s humor, artistic vision, and artistic presence in our world.
Jewish Museum Associate Curator Rebecca Shaykin states that “those who crave immersive, multi-sensory encounters with art will not be disappointed” by Minujín’s artistic arrival in New York. Her work is promised to put a smile on your face, so take a stroll through Times Square or stop by the Jewish Museum to catch Marta Minujín’s art before she heads off on her next adventure.
Sculpture of Dreams will be on view from November 8th to November 21st, and Arte! Arte! Arte! from November 17th to March 31st.
Next, check out 14 Must-See Art Installations in NYC This November