New York’s 10 Best Public Art Installations for Fall
From Queens to Harlem, there's art to be seen in every corner of the city.
On the heels of a typically great spring and summer public art season here in New York, there’s plenty more outdoor art to be seen in the city this fall, from the heart of Times Square to way out in Flushing, Queens. Aside from sipping on a pumpkin spice latte, what better way to welcome autumn than by enjoying the best of the public art on offer? And don’t forget, it’s all eminently Instagramable.
1. Don Gummer, “Don Gummer on Broadway,” Broadway
Meryl Streep isn’t the only one in her family to appear on Broadway: Her husband, Don Gummer, is currently presenting an outdoor art exhibition of nine aluminum and stainless steel sculptures along the famed avenue. Beginning at Columbus Circle and reaching up to 157th street, the statues are the artist’s attempt to translate haiku poetry into visual form.
Broadway malls from Columbus Circle to 157th Street; May 2015–early 2016.
2. Hank Willis Thomas, “The Truth Is I See You,” MetroTech Commons, Brooklyn
Taking his inspiration from “The truth is we’re not yet free,” a quote from Nelson Mandela, Hank Willis Thomas explores the meaning of the truth for his Brooklyn show for the Public Art Fund. Thomas’s world-traveling Truth Booth, in which visitors are invited to record their idea of the truth, will make an appearance on October 15.
MetroTech Commons, between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue at Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn; August 4, 2015–June 3, 2016.
3. JR, Ballerina Pasting, Tribeca
The latest work from French street artist JR , a 75-foot-tall photograph of New York City Ballet ballerina Lauren Lovette leaping elegantly in the air, graces an otherwise nondescript wall in Tribeca. The photograph was taken in Paris during the filming of the artist’s film Les Bosquet, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this spring.
DDG’s 100 Franklin Street at Church Street; ongoing.
4. Grimanesa Amorós, Pink Lotus, the Peninsula New York
Grimanesa Amorós is lighting up the night sky with Pink Lotus, a squiggly illuminated sculpture that celebrates female empowerment. The installation is part of “The Art of Pink,” a Breast Cancer Awareness Month initiative by the Peninsula hotels. Also participating in 2015 is Alexandre Renoir, great-grandson of the newly-controversial Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
The Peninsula New York, 700 5th Ave at 55th Street; October 1–November 15, 2015.
5. Alicja Kwade, Against the Run, Central Park
In addition to the aforementioned Hank Willis Thomas exhibition and its ongoing digitally-themed City Hall Park group show, Public Art Fund is also staging a Central Park presentation of Against the Run, Alicja Kwade‘s 16-foot-tall take on the traditional New York City street clock. Though it looks ordinary and keeps correct time, this clock simultaneously runs backward and forward.
Central Park, Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Fifth Avenue at 60th Street; September 10, 2015–February 14, 2016.
6. Ya Hon Chang, Tang Wei Hsu, Kuang Yu Lee, and Wen Fu Yu, “The Moment,” Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
This sculpture exhibition, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei and the Taiwanese American Arts Council as part of the Parks Department’s “Art in the Parks” program, sets work by four New York-based Taiwanese artists beneath the iconic Unisphere in Corona Park. The sculptures are made from a wide range of materials including fiberglass, bamboo, and feathers, and include forms inspired by Buddha.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens; September 27–November 23, 2015.
7. Lunar New Year, A Depiction of Urgency, Hamilton Heights
The Audubon Mural Project plans to bring avian-themed street art to 314 gates and windows in northern Harlem, one for each North American bird threatened by climate change. The latest addition to the initiative, organized by the National Audubon Society along with the gallery known as “Gitler & ____,” is also the biggest mural yet, located directly across John James Audubon‘s grave at Trinity Cemetery.
The Stella, 575 West 155th Street; ongoing.
8. Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer, Victory Journal, and Juxtapoz magazine, T.SQ Newsstand
The latest in Times Square Arts‘s “At the Crossroads” series, the T.SQ Newsstand creates a classic New York kiosk for the modern age, hawking a selection of artwork and indie publications including one featuring work by Barbara Kruger. Organized by Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer with Victory Journal and Juxtapoz, this New York stand is embellished with fake pigeons and cigarette packs.
Times Square, Broadway plaza between West 44th and 45th Streets; October 9–18, 2015.
9. Max Spivak, 5 Bryant Park mosaic
This 40-foot-wide mosaic mural by Max Spivak of an abstract design set on a shimmering gold background, is full of shapes based on tools of the textile trade (it was inspired by the garment businesses that once populated the neighborhood). And while it may date to 1957, it was only rediscovered in March during renovations and restored by its owner, the Blackstone group.
5 Bryant Park; ongoing.
10. Duke Riley, El Primero Desfile de San Patricio en la Habana, Cuba, Socrates Sculpture Park
An Irish American, Duke Riley was surprised to discover, during a 2007 visit to Havana, that many of his ancestor’s countrymen had emigrated to Cuba. He returned in 2009, staging the city’s first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade, a tradition that began in the US and has been adopted in 15 countries around the world. A detail of a drawing Riley made to record his St. Patrick’s Day Parade performance is now on view at Socrates Sculpture Park’s 11-by-28-foot Broadway Billboard, welcoming visitors to the park, where the 2015 Emerging Artist Fellowship is currently on view.
Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City; September 27, 2015–March 13, 2016.
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.