nyc. public art. on view now. (september 2012 / part II)

what: 4 sculptures by john chamberlain

where: outside the seagram building, park avenue and 53rd street

when: until november 16

PINEAPPLESURPRISE (2010), MERMAIDSMISCHIEF (2009), ROBUSTFAGOTTO (2008), and FROSTYDICKFANTASY (2008) are among the later sculptures that Chamberlain produced during his sixty-year career. Up to fifteen feet in height, the works on view are constructed from silver, green, or copper-colored industrial aluminum, which has been looped and flexed into whimsical, biomorphic forms. From the mid–1970s, Chamberlain began fashioning miniature sculptures from household aluminum foil. In 2007, he began successfully transposing these miniatures into durable materials on a grand scale, but without sacrificing any of the lightness, directness, and spontaneity of the initial foils. Although he used materials other than his signature “art supply” of discarded metal car parts, these sculptures consistently reflect his lifelong concern with what he described as “fit.” The intricately tangled and woven parts ultimately resolve themselves in balanced, cohesive structures….” read more

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what: common ground – 10 pieces by different artists

where: city hall park

when: until november 30

“From the monuments of ancient Egypt to the Statue of Liberty, public art has traditionally been a means to represent a society’s beliefs, values, and ideals. However, in our own diverse culture, today we value art most highly as the expression of a unique individual vision. Common Ground brings together the work of ten international artists, each with a strikingly original artistic voice and a strong engagement with our contemporary culture.

Several works in the exhibition create a dialogue with the history of art, finding new metaphors in traditional forms. For example, there is a recurring interest in the classical statue and the use of stone-carved text. In Common Ground, the civic monument, once dominated by heroic representations of men, is reinvented through the use of abstraction, irony, and satire. Some of the works reflect on the public role of the artist, implying both the transience of life and the desire for timelessness in art. The exhibition also explores the notion of “common” space through language, objects, and performance. Together, all of the very different works in Common Ground remind us that contemporary art offers us both opportunities for personal reflection and shared moments of collective expression….” more information

(1. “daddies ketchup” by paul mccarthy / 2. “new beaches” by justin matherly / 3. 4 benches by jenny holzer / 4. “memorial for unknow artist” by thomas schütte)

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more public art in new york: here; here and here.

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