Public Art in NYC

Public Art in NYC

Whether you're an avid collector of antiquities or enjoy looking at contemporary art in a museum setting, NYC is home to breathtaking collections that span every discipline, movement and time period. Although most of these masterpieces can been seen in museums and galleries throughout the five boroughs, there are plenty of remarkable pieces that you can view just by walking down any given street. This type of art, known as public art, is found throughout Manhattan. You can always take photos of permanent fixtures, like Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture and Alexander Calder’s Venus Over Manhattan, both in Midtown, but several interesting installations are temporary. Below are three public works of art on view for a limited time in NYC.

How to Work Better
It’s pretty easy to see Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss’ How to Work Better (1991) in downtown Manhattan. The large readymade is hand-painted on a building on Houston Street at the corner of Mott Street. How to Work Better features a list of 10 simple statements that suggest “working better” is important to everyday life and productivity. It is also the title of the artist’s concurrent retrospective at the Guggenheim. The installation is on view thru May 1. 

Van Gogh’s Ear
Artistic collaborators Elmgreen & Dragset have transformed the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center with a sculpture that looks like a massive upright swimming pool. Van Gogh’s Ear (2016) was made specifically for this site and will be on view through June 3.

Two Orchids
German artist Isa Genzken’s Two Orchids (2015) in on view at the entrance to Central Park off of Fifth Avenue and 60th Street. This piece is a comment on the history and popularity of this delecate flower. The two orchids rise to 28 and 34 feet respectively and will be on view though August 21.

Also be on the lookout for works that will be on display later this spring and this summer, including MARTIN CREED: Understanding at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6 (beginning May 3) and The Language of Things at City Hall Park (starting June 28). For more on these works, as well as additional public art in the city, visit the Public Art Fund online.

Image Courtesy Lines: Van Gogh’s Ear, courtesy the artists and the K11 Art Foundation, Galerie Perrotin, Galleria Massimo De Carlo, and Victoria Miro Gallery; Two Orchids, courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin/New York and David Zwirner, New York/London. All photos taken by Jason Wyche, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY


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