High Line Art to Unveil 12 Plinth Finalists Proposals

The project will feature wide-ranging work by a roster of well-known artists.

Simone Leigh, Cupboard VII. Courtesy the artist and High Line Art.

Following some winter weather-related snafus, Friends of the High Line and High Line Art will unveil today—on the High Line at 14th Street—a dozen maquettes from a high profile roster of international artists who are finalists for the park’s recently announced High Line Plinth. The works will be on view until April 30.

The plinth, which was inspired by the famous “Fourth Plinth” in London’s Trafalgar Square, will be situated at the north end of the park at 30th street and 10th avenue, and will be a focal point of what has been dubbed “The Spur,” the newest section of the park. The aim of the Spur, the High Line’s largest open space, is to bring together the park’s three signature elements—horticulture, public programs, and art.

As with the Trafalgar plinth, High Line plinth organizers similarly expect the spot to become a landmark for major public art commissions. Ideally, too, it will spark dialogue among the general public. The first work will be unveiled in 2018.

“The High Line Plinth will be one of the only permanent sites in New York City where you’ll always be able to see public art,” said Cecilia Alemani, Donald R. Mullen, Jr. director and chief curator of High Line Art. “I hope the program and the artworks exhibited in this new section of the High Line will question the bounds of traditional monumental public sculpture. Looking at the 12 shortlisted artists you can see how they propose to use the space in so many different ways: some directly engage with the breathtaking views from 10th avenue; others question the very concept of public space; and some seem to have gained much relevance in the current political climate.”

Charles Gaines, <i>Tilted Tower</i>. Courtesy the artist and High Line Art.

Charles Gaines, Tilted Tower. Courtesy the artist and High Line Art.

“When considering their proposals, artists were encouraged to take into account the many viewpoints that look onto the Plinth location on the Spur,” said associate curator Melanie Kress. “One of the challenges and amazing opportunities of the Plinth site is deciding how to balance the human scale standing next to the Plinth with the massive architectural scale of the surrounding buildings and the view from the street below,” she added.

Haim Steinbach, <i>Chicken Coop</i>. Courtesy the artist and High Line Art.

Haim Steinbach, Chicken Coop. Courtesy the artist and High Line Art.

The process leading to the current shortlist involved collecting and reviewing more than 50 proposals from a range of artists recommended by an international advisory committee comprised of 13 artists, curators, and art world professionals.

Matthew Day Jackson, <i>The Great Stone Faces</i>. Courtesy the artist and High Line Art.

Matthew Day Jackson, The Great Stone Faces. Courtesy the artist and High Line Art.

The artist shortlist is a wide-ranging group with respect to both age (32 years to 72 years) as well as career status, encompassing both emerging and established artists.

Roman Ondak, <i>The Island</i>. Courtesy the artist and High Line Art.

Roman Ondak, The Island. Courtesy the artist and High Line Art.

This spring, two of the 12 finalists’ projects will be selected as the first and second occupants of the plinth.  Each will be on view for 18 months.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.