Outside the fairs, museums, and galleries, a great way to see contemporary art in New York this spring is in public spaces, parks, and pavilions dedicated to site- specific installations and sculptures. There’s a lot to digest during Frieze New York, and a few public pieces in particular to highlight.
To kick things off at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Public Art Fund is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the U.S. debut of Anish Kapoor’s Descension, on view through September 10 at Pier 1, a spiraling funnel of evanescent water that is sure to stun against the East River.
Public Art Fund is also presenting Liz Glynn’s Open House, a reinterpretation of a Gilded Age ballroom, at the entrance to Central Park, featuring 26 pieces that turn a historically exclusive space into a come- one-come-all installation. Drawing inspiration from the now-demolished William C. Whitney Ballroom, designed by famed architect Stanford White, Open House is located just eight blocks from the original—at the 3,500-square- foot Doris C. Freedman Plaza. On view through September 24, the cast concrete replicas of 18th-century sofas, chairs, footstools, and arches are cherished for the ornate decorative elements of their French designs.
Also new for spring is Socrates Sculpture Park’s first-ever solo show, “Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again.” The artist has created all-new public artworks for the five-acre waterfront property in Long Island City, Queens, including Apollo/Poll, the 30-foot LED tower at the river’s edge. In addition, be on the lookout for his Scapegoat—a 40-foot-long installation with a giant goat’s head.
The Times Square Alliance is presenting “Midnight Moment,” the world’s largest, longest-running nightly digital art exhibition, in Times Square. For three minutes, from 11:57 pm until midnight, onlookers can expect to see a synchronized installation on the electronic billboards, presented in partnership with the Times Square Advertising Coalition, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The Municipal Art Society of New York. I LIVE HERE, Animation from “A Marvelous Order” by Joshua Frankel, the new video work, composes animation for A Marvelous Order, a multimedia opera about the battle between builder Robert Moses and activist Jane Jacobs for New York City’s future and fate. On Friday, May 5, from 11:30 pm to midnight, the public is invited to join the artist in viewing the work from Duffy Square.