Best of 2016: Our Top 5 Public Art Installations

We saw so much great art during 2016 that we created two separate lists this year; Top Public Art Installations and a Top Art Exhibitions list.  It’s not the ‘be all and end all of lists’, just a grouping of exhibits and installs that lingered on for us well into the end of the year.  I wish we had the time to list all the installs that made us happy his year, but we didn’t.  Let’s face it, not everything makes the same impact on a person.  I’m sure there are plenty of other lists with great picks, that’s what makes end of the year lists so much fun – everyone’s got a different opinion of what constitutes ‘best of the rest’.

These are ours…

 

Honorable Mention

Yayoi Kusama Dots at Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has dominated the dot world since the 1950’s. She continued her Infinity Room series during a residency at the iconic Glass House in Connecticut by sticking red polka dots all over its transparent walls. We couldn’t make it to the Glass House, but we sated ourselves by visiting her permanent ‘Infinity Dot Mirrored Room’ at the Mattress Factory.

Next up…

Feb.23.2017-May.14.2017
YAYOI KUSAMA: INFINITY MIRRORS
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

5. The Guardians

Vladimir Antaki’s award-winning photo series ‘The Guardians’ is sourced from his travels. Antaki photographs devoted shop keepers inside their mecca’s as a way to document and pay tribute to the guardians of urban temples we encounter on a daily basis without really noticing. His portraits capture a moment that encapsulates their dedication. This year, two cities paid tribute to his Guardians – his work was installed on the streets of Philadelphia and during the Nuit Blanche Arts Festival in Toronto.

 

 

4. That Time JR Made the Pyramid at the Louvre Disappear

French street artist, JR, was invited by the Louvre museum to wrap their world-famous glass pyramid with one of his monumental anamorphic images. The project steamrolled that old commentary of fear that Pei’s design would somehow violate the museum’s historical integrity.

more on the story here.

 

3. Waterfall by Olafur Eliasson

Artist/Designer Eliasson is known for his large-scale installations that explore perception and environmental issues. Reminiscent of the 2008 waterfalls that appeared underneath major bridges in New York City, Eliasson amazed the crowds again as a towering waterfall appeared to fall from midair into the Grand Canal at the Palace of Versailles. It cascaded from high above the surface appearing as a torrent of water of with no discernible source when viewed from the front steps of the palace. The gushing water concealed a latticed tower helping pump water through a system of pipes, which become apparent to audiences as they viewed the installation from its sides.

 

2. Biancoshock Hides Miniature Underground Rooms Inside Manholes in Milan

His 2016 art installation “Borderlife” was his call to a bigger awareness. He transformed 3 vacant subterranean maintenance vaults into miniature underground rooms in the Lodi district of Milan. It points a finger toward a hidden reality that most remain unaware of; the living conditions of those forced to occupy confined spaces – with a focus on those who live underground, behind manholes.

more on the story here.

 

1. Creative Time Presents Duke Riley’s “Fly By Night”

The summer nights were enhanced with Creative Times‘ present, Duke Riley’s ‘Fly By Night’.  The performance sent 2,000 trained pigeons swirling into the air over the east river to music, illuminating the Brooklyn skyline with thousands of LED lights.  New York Times called the performances, “Mr. Riley’s valentine to the city, its historic shoreline, its oft-maligned spirit animal and the vanishing world of rooftop pigeon fanciers.”

Top 5 Art Shows of 2014

There was no polling of art aficionados, no pouring over magazines or newspaper reviews, and there’s definitely no big ballin’ art plays for likability listed below.  These shows made the list because I visited them more than once (that rarely ever happens) or my sensibilities were totally confounded by the creativity.  Shows that make that kind of impression can provide a year’s worth of conversational tidbits and a measure to which you might hold all others.  Aw, enough with that…these shows rocked my 2014.

Spring Break Art Show

It’s fun, fresh, and daring like newly graduated art school minds before they get crushed and compromised. This curator driven show, gets set up in an old schoolhouse during Armory Arts Week in New York. Yes, we know it’s technically an art fair. But the 2014 show, PublicPrivate won us over with installations that we talked up all-year-long.

Kara Walker: A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby

Kara Walker’s Installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn was a “homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.” The exhibit was mind-blowing – from the overwhelmingly beautiful conceptual execution of the sugar-coated sphinx-like woman, to the very unexpected nauseating smell of burnt sugar permeating the hot factory.

A photo posted by @hahamag on

Swoon: Submerged Motherlands

Swoon’s intricate wheat-paste portraits normally grace New York buildings, but for Motherlands she went large-scale, telling landscaped stories against a backdrop of dramatically blue washed walls in the Brooklyn Museum rotunda. The star of the show was the massive sculptural tree that nearly kissed the rotunda’s 72 foot high glass domed ceiling.

David Lynch: The Unified Field

Lynch’s grime aesthetics found solace at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (PAFA), where he studied as an advanced painting student in 1967. The exhibit explored Lynch’s hybrid collection of works, displaying a delicate balance from disturbing narratives to richly descriptive lithographs. Unified Field is his world of opposites that he wanders in and out of at will.

Interhaven: The Works of Caitlin McCormack

McCormack’s sorted things in shadowboxes lay posed and gracefully still as if they once knew air – their layers of articulated overlapping crocheted beige string bones resembled the things they never were. The show’s curio layout carried a pleasantly haunting tone, but it was the lingering of McCormack’s stored memories seen through these tangible manifestations of contained dreams and nightmares that left me feeling domed under her bell jars.

*thank you to paperclips215 & Paradigm Gallery for the use of their Instagram Photos

Performance Artist Nick Cave joins Grand Central’s 100th year Celebration

 

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Performance Artist Nick Cave is bringing his mesmerizing sound-suits to Grand Central as part of their 100th year celebration. The performance piece (HEARD-NY) will feature thirty of his colorful horse suit creations wandering and dancing in the train station at set times. If you’ve never seen Cave’s sound-suits, as he calls them, then you’re in for a treat. These handcrafted suits made from found objects obscure the performer, creating an anonymity for the performer and viewer, leaving only on the sights and sounds of wonder.

NickCave_JPEG-announcementFeb22

You can make you experience interactive right now with Creative Time & MTA for the Arts. Floating out there in the Metro Machines are Limited Edition Nick Cave performance Metrocards. If you score one, post a picture of you with yours and tag it #IHEARDNY.

Performance Artist Nick Cave joins Grand Central's 100th year Celebration

To Learn more about the performance go here to Creative Time’s Project page.
photos via Creative Time