Since its first installation in 2008, Brooklyn Bridge Park has hosted some truly incredible works of public art- some innovative, some thought-provoking, others more subtle or even jaw-dropping. Thanks to the support and cooperation of our amazing partners, BBP has become a destination for great public art. And while we look forward to many installations still to come, here’s a look back at some highlights.
- The New York City Waterfalls by Olafur Eliasson – 2008
- Telectroscope by Paul St. George – 2008
- Yoga by Mark Di Suvero – 2011
- People by Oscar Tuazon – 2012
- Ship of Tolerance by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov – 2013
- Half Story Mountain by Grayson Cox – 2013-2014
- We the People by Danh Vo – 2014
- Kolonihavehus, 2010 by Tom Fruin – 2014-2015
- At Home in the Park by Rush Kids and Teens – 2015
- Please Touch the Art by Jeppe Hein – 2015-present
- OY/YO by Deborah Kass – 2015-present
From June to October of 2008, four massive ‘waterfalls’ graced the East River’s shores. Presented by the Public Art Fund, the illuminated cascades of Olafur Eliasson’s The New York City Waterfalls juxtaposed the natural environment with the city’s industrial and commercial landscape. BBP was lucky to host two of Eliasson’s monumental installations- one at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, and one between Piers 4 and 5.
In the Brooklyn Bridge’s 125th year of operation, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and UK-based company Artichoke brought Paul St. George’s Telectroscope to Fulton Ferry Landing. With a twin installation in London, Telectroscope acted as a “visual amplifier” connecting the two cities. Using a broadband connection, visitors to either installation could interact simultaneously with their counterparts on the other side of the globe.
In collaboration with Storm King Art Center, BBP presented Mark Di Suvero’s thirty-foot-tall, kinetic steel composition, Yoga. As its I-beam pivoted with the wind, the sculpture created changing shadows and perspectives on Pier 1’s Bridgeview Lawn.
Oscar Tuazon’s People, presented by the Public Art Fund, was the first site-specific exhibition created for Brooklyn Bridge Park. Using a mixture of natural materials and industrial building techniques, its three sculptures responded to BBP’s unique reuse of waterfront space and its role as a place of play and leisure.
Partnering with the Dumbo Arts Festival and Studio in A School, BBP hosted Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s Ship of Tolerance in the water near Main Street’s Pebble Beach. Designed to educate and connect children from different continents, the ship had been displayed in Italy, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Florida, and Cuba before coming to Brooklyn. This iteration featured colorful paintings by NYC public school students stitched together as its sail.
New York artist Grayson Cox’s Half Story Mountain presented visitors with a 6-foot tall fiberglass mountain embedded with the silhouette of a Corbusier lounge chair. With support from Two Trees Management Co., Half Story Mountain was on view until October, 2014 at Empire Fulton Ferry.
Danh Vo’s ambitious We The People consisted of a full-scale, deconstructed replica of the Statue of Liberty. Its 250 parts were built using original techniques and materials and featured in numerous installations around the world. With the collaboration of the Public Art Fund, BBP displayed 13 parts comprising the statue’s colossal right shoulder and ear at the Pier 3 Greenway Terrace.
Copenhagen’s ubiquitous kolonihavehus sheds, meant to shelter state workers from cramped living conditions, inspired Tom Fruin’s Kolonihavehus, 2010. The multicolored shed featured roughly one thousand pieces of locally sourced scraps of salvaged Plexiglas as well as handmade door hinges and operable windows. Fruin originally built Kolonihavehus, 2010 for Danish performance group CoreAct, who used it in their performance, Reflection, part of the 2014 Dumbo Arts Festival. It was brought to BBP in partnership with Two Trees Management, Co.
Last summer, BBP partnered with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation to inaugurate the new community art space in 99 Plymouth at Main Street. RPAF, which works to provide inner city youth with exposure to the arts and opportunities to practice them, brought enrollees in their summer program to paint originals murals depicting scenes from the park cast as shadows on the interior walls.
A parkwide installation presented by the Public Art Fund, Jeppe Hein’s Please Touch the Art features playful sculptures designed for public interaction. Currently on view are Mirror Labyrinth, an arrangement of large, mirror-polished vertical elements that fragment and reflect the surrounding landscape, and sixteen Modified Social Benches that offer a new take on park benches with their twisted, curved, and angled forms. Previously on view, Appearing Rooms featured jets of water forming walls that appeared and disappeared throughout the day.
Deborah Kass’ iconic OY/YO, BBP’s latest public art installation, whimsically pays tribute to Brooklyn’s urban slang and ethnic communities in monumental manner. Commissioned by Two Trees Management Co., OY/YO is now on view at Main Street.