18 Public Art Shows to Get Excited About in NYC This Spring

The public art season is upon us.

Anish Kapoor: Descension. Photo: Tadzio. Courtesy o Public Art Fund
Anish Kapoor, Descension. Courtesy of Public Art Fund/Tadzio.

Though there is still a chill in the air, and lingering remembrances of winter storm Stella have yet to melt entirely, spring officially arrived this week. In honor of the changing of the seasons, artnet News has rounded up the best public art currently on view or presently opening here in New York. Enjoy!

1. Anish Kapoor, Descension at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Appearing like a vortex into another dimension, Anish Kapoor’s Descension, presented by the Public Art Fund, is a swirling pool of dark water, challenging the viewer’s perception of space and the landscape. A sure-fire crowd pleaser!

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Furman Street at Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn.
May 3–September 10, 2017

Buffalo and Eagle, Fancy Animal Carnival installation view. Courtesy of Orangenius.

Hung Yi, Buffalo and Eagle,”Fancy Animal Carnival” installation view. Courtesy of Orangenius.

2. Hung Yi, “Fancy Animal Carnival” at Garment District Plazas
For the latest installment of the Garment District Plaza’s Art on the Plaza’s program, artist Hung Yi has painted large-scale animal sculptures with colorful, traditionally lucky Taiwanese symbols and motifs. The show is presented by New York’s Emmanuel Fremin Gallery and Taiwan’s InSian Gallery.

Garment District Plazas, Broadway between 41st and 36th Streets; Through April 15, 2017.

Henry Taylor, The Floaters, rendering courtesy of the artist, Blum & Poe, LA/NY/Tokyo, and Friends of the High Line. © Henry Taylor.

3. Henry Taylor, The Floaters at the High Line
Fresh from his appearance in the Whitney Biennial, Henry Taylor channels his best David Hockney—and the summer heat—with this colorful self portrait of himself swimming in a friend’s Palm Springs pool.

The High Line, West 22nd Street between 10th and 12th Avenue; Through March 2018.

PichiAvo, <em>Urbanmythology</em>. Courtesy of PichiAvo.

PichiAvo, Urbanmythology. Courtesy of PichiAvo.

4. PichiAvo, Urbanmythology, at the Bowery Graffiti Wall 
The ever-changing Bowery Wall, which has given the city street art murals by the likes of Maya Hayuk, Swoon, RETNA, Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, JR, and, most recently, Logan Hicks, has been taken over by the duo PichiAvo. The work features their signature blend of Neoclassical figurative painting, graffiti, and surrealism.

Bowery Graffiti Wall, 76 E Houston St at the Bowery; Through May 2017.

Hannah Black, Team Jolie, 2014 (still). Courtesy of the artist and Arcadia Missa.

5. Hannah Black and Sara Magenheimer, “Body Language” at the High Line
The High Line’s semi-enclosed passageway at West 14th Street becomes a movie theater at night for this “group exhibition in video format,” screening video works exploring the connections between the spoken word and our physical bodies. (Black is in the news for her call to destroy Dana Schutz‘s painting of Emmett Till at the Whitney Biennial.)

The High Line at 14th Street; Through April 26, 2017, daily beginning at 5 p.m.

Nari Ward, G.O.A.T., again. Process detail featuring goat mold. Photo by Mitch Cope.

6. Nari Ward, “G.O.A.T., again” at Socrates Sculpture Park
For the first time in its 30-year history, Socrates Sculpture Park will give the entirety of its five-acre waterfront space to a single artist, Jamaican-born Nari Ward. The centerpiece of the politically charged show, addressing timely issues such as immigration and race, will be Scapegoat, a 40-foot-long hobby horse topped with the head of a goat.

Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City; April 29–September 4, 2017.

Pinaree Sanpitak, The Roof. Installation work in progress

7. Pinaree Sanpitak, The Roof at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place
Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak takes to the airy Brookfield Place atrium with a hanging installation of translucent canopies made from raw silk, glass fiber, chains, and other materials.

Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street; April 19–July 5, 2017.

Laura Kimpton, LOVE. Photo courtesy of Peter Ruprecht.

8. Laura KimptonLOVE on the roof of James Hotel
Burning Man favorite Laura Kimpton brings one of her uplifting Monumental Word pieces to a New York City rooftop.

James Hotel, 27 Grand St; Through the summer. 

Liz Glynn, Open House, Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park. Courtesy of Public Art Fund, the artist, and Paula Cooper Gallery. Photo by James Ewing.

9. Liz Glynn, Open House at Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park
Public Art Fund takes a “hard look” at class distinctions, both historic and present day, in this piece by Liz Glynn, which recreates the plush furniture from a Gilded Age mansion in uncomfortable concrete, transforming that elite space into a public venue.

Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Fifth Avenue at 60th Street; March 1–September 24, 2017

 Leonard Ursachi, <em>Drift</em>. Courtesy of the Archway in DUMBO.

Leonard Ursachi, Drift. Courtesy of the Archway in DUMBO.

10. Leonard Ursachi, Drift at the Archway in DUMBO
A former refugee from Romania, Leonard Ursachi draws on his experiences travelling the world in Drift, a sculpture crafted from hollowed-out driftwood pieces cast into concrete sculptures.

The Archway in DUMBO, between Adams Street and Anchorage Place, Brooklyn; Through March 30, 2017.

KAWS, New York Made. Installation view. Courtesy of Nike.

11. KAWS, New York Made, at Sara D. Roosevelt Park
Sneaker giant Nike teamed with New York City’s Parks and Recreation Department to spruce up a humble basketball court with this massive KAWS mural. The artist hopes to have an effect on players using the facility, but has not interfered with the all-important three-point line and key.

Stanton Street Courts at Stanton and Chrystie Streets; Through November 16, 2017.

Max Hooper Schneider, <em>Pet Semiosis 8: FLEAS (English)</em>.  Courtesy of High Line Art/photographer Michael Underwood.

Max Hooper Schneider, Pet Semiosis 8: FLEAS (English). Courtesy of High Line Art/photographer Michael Underwood.

12. “Mutations” at the High Line
The High Line’s annual group show takes on man’s relationship to nature—a fitting theme for an exhibition hosted on a man-made structure that was reclaimed by nature, only to be remade into a manicured public park. The participating artists are Larry Bamburg, Alisa Baremboym, Sascha Braunig, Dora Budor, Radamés Juni Figueroa, Guan Xiao, Marguerite Humeau, Veit Laurent Kurz, Joanna Malinowska, Jumana Manna, Jon Rafman, and Max Hooper Schneider.

High Line, multiple locations; April 2017–March 2018.

Jennifer Cecere, Double Doily. Courtesy of NYC Parks

13. Jennifer Cecere, Double Doily at PS1 Greenstreet
The traditionally feminine doily, often used as a mean of beautifying worn out furnishings, becomes a functional bench in this piece, allowing the public to interact with handmade craft outside of the domestic sphere.

PS1 Greenstreet at Jackson Avenue and 46th Avenue, Queens; Through November 17, 2017.

Steven and William Ladd, <em>Fabulous Phil</em>. Courtesy of Todd Eberle.

Steven and William Ladd, Fabulous Phil. Courtesy of Todd Eberle.

14. Steven and William LaddFabulous Phil at City Point
The Ladd brothers have created their first civic work, and largest piece yet, a 40-square foot mural for the City Point shopping destination in Downtown Brooklyn. The artists enlisted local children to help create the piece through one of their community-craft-based Scrollathon workshops.

City Point, 445 Albee Square West, Downtown Brooklyn; Ongoing. 

Martin Blank, <em>Steam Portraits</em>. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Martin Blank, Steam Portraits. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

15. Martin BlankSteam Portraits at 30 Park Place
Artist Martin Blank has waited 15 years to realize his vision for two undulating glass fountains in the courtyard at 30 Park Place, the finally completed condominium from developer Larry Silverstein. The works attempt to capture the ephemerality of steam in the wind in physical form.

30 Park Place; Ongoing. 

Roy Nachum, <em>Kings</em>. Courtesy of the artist.

Roy Nachum, Kings. Courtesy of the artist.

16. Roy Nachum, Kings at 5 Franklin Place
This towering 11-foot sculpture of pointy golden crowns is based on Roy Nachum‘s paintings of a child with a crown covering his eyes, featured on Rihanna’s album ANTI. The sculpture is engraved with poetry written in Braille, with lines like “Floating we trace the surface/Fulfilled we forget the past.”

5 Franklin Place; Ongoing. 

Bjørn Skaarup, Hippo Ballerina. Installation view. Courtesy of NYC Parks

17. Bjørn Skaarup, Hippo Ballerina at Dante Park
A classic scene from Disney’s Fantasia, in which tutu-ed hippopotamuses dance the ballet, comes to life, fittingly, outside Lincoln Center. The two-and-a-half-ton bronze statue stands at over 15 feet tall, and is inspired by the iconic Little Dancer statue by Edgar Degas.

Dante Park, 64 Street & Broadway; Through July 31, 2017.

Carole Feueman, Survival of Serena, (2017). Installation view Courtesy of chashama.

18. Carole Feuerman, PERCEPTION | In the Eye of the Beholder at One Exchange Plaza
Hyper-realist sculptor presents 28 works, including several of the swimmers for whom she is best-known, in this exhibition from chashama.

One Exchange Plaza, 51-55 Broadway; Through April 23, 2017.


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