Until the 1960s, most public art in New York City was limited to war memorials, civic-minded murals, or relief sculpture embodying universal values like “Fraternity” or “Wisdom.” But the late 1960s brought a new era that embraced the individual artist’s voice and vision in the public realm. In the years since, hundreds of innovative art works, both permanent and temporary, have been installed in the public spaces of New York, making this the most robust and vibrant environment for public art in the world.
Presented to mark the 40th anniversary of the pioneering Public Art Fund, Art in the Open highlights works that have transformed both the public spaces of the city as well as public expectation of the role and potential of art that exists outside of the traditional confines of museums and galleries. The exhibition features renderings, models, photographs, and video footage tracing the creation of public artworks by such artists as Chuck Close, Agnes Denes, Jane Dickson, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Red Grooms, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Vic Muniz, Isamu Noguchi, Ugo Rondinone, and Kara Walker.
Art in the Open: Fifty Years of Public Art in New York. The Museum of the City of New York. 1220 fifth Avenue at 103rd St., Open Daily 10am-6pm. 10 November – 13 May 2018.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Gates, 2005
Vik Muniz. Perfect Strangers. 72nd Street Station. Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Chuck Close. 86th Street Station. Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Agnes Denes. Wheatfield, a Confrontation, 1982. Battery Park City landfill.
Jane Dickson, Untitled, part of Messages to the Public, Times Square, 1982. Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY.
Keith Haring. Yellow Arching Figure, w/ Untitled (Three Dancing Figures), 1997. Installed at Doris C. Freedman Plaza. Photograph: Frederick Charles / Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY
Roy Lichtenstein. Times Square Mural, 2002. NYCT Times Square-42nd Street Station. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design. © Roy Lichtenstein
Isamu Noguchi. Red Cube, c.1968. Installed at 140 Broadway. Photograph by Edmund Vincent Gillon/Museum of the City of New York
Ugo Rondinone, Human Nature, Rockefeller Center, 2013. Photograph: Bart Barlow / Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY
Art in the Open. Installation view, Museum of the City of New York. Rob Stephenson courtesy of Museum of the City of New York