2017 Public Art Installations
Earth Line was a site-specific installation by artist Claudia Bitran. Created using ordinary household refuse, the installation consisted of a 3D representation of the New York City skyline as seen from BBP, as well as a series of photographs highlighting the intricate detail of the work. The New York-based artist’s installation revealed the impact of the city landscape, and the objects the same city discards. Earth Line was on display at 99 Plymouth through February 2018.
THE FENCE is an annual collaboration between United Photo Industries, Photo District News, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and many more organizations that join forces to curate and produce this unique exhibition aimed at fostering conversations and exploring new thematic directions in photography. This year’s works fit seven thematic categories: Home, Streets, People, Creatures, Nature, Play, and Food. Since its inception, THE FENCE has consistently attracted exceptional work by talented photographers from around the world, providing them with a truly public platform and unexpected career opportunities. THE FENCE was on display at Empire Fulton Ferry and along the greenway until November 2017.
Exquisite Plants was an interactive installation that explored shape-building and abstraction through play, by artists Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao. The three-part exhibit was inspired by the beautiful blooms of BBP and included an interactive magnetic wall in the Community Room, on which the public rearranged magnetic plant shapes to create new compositions. In the hallway, several large wall reliefs constructed by the artists depicted a series of “Exquisite Plants” made of brightly painted shapes. Also in the Community Room, a Workshop Gallery wall showcased original collages made during workshops. Exquisite Plants was on display at 99 Plymouth until November 2017. Magnetic textiles were by Visual Magnetics.
Anish Kapoor: Descension
World renowned artist Anish Kapoor’s Descension came to New York for the first time as part of Public Art Fund’s 40th Anniversary season. Kapoor, known for sculptures like Cloud Gate in Chicago’s Millennium Park, previously installed Descension at India’s Kochi-Muziris biennale in 2014 and at Versailles in 2015. Descension creates a negative space alive with energy, continuously in process, that invites audiences to peer into its depths. Through Descension, Kapoor blurs the boundaries between nature, landscape, and art, allowing us to perceive space differently. Descension was located at Pier 1’s Bridge View Lawn until October 2017.
Rush Arts: By My Window Have I For Scenery
Brooklyn Bridge Park welcomed back the talented young artists of Rush Arts Summer Session to 99 Plymouth. Rush Education Programs provide students with contemporary art education. The summer 2017 installation, collectively titled By My Window Have I For Scenery, drew from the works of Rush Director of Education, Meridith McNeal. McNeal’s paintings often depict vibrant land and cityscapes viewed through diversely styled, open or closed windows, which invite the viewer to consider not just what lies outside them, but within them as well. After viewing McNeal’s exhibitions in Brooklyn galleries and visiting BBP’s Empire Fulton Ferry section, the students designed their original paintings based on photographic references of the park. The paintings were on display during summer 2017.
Priscila De Carvalho: Before Now
Priscila De Carvalho took inspiration for her installation, Before Now, from the encounters between nature, the environment, the present, and the past. She combined figurative and abstract elements of Brooklyn Bridge Park, represented respectively by architecture and plant life, to show how the natural world intersects with and weaves through the urban environment. De Carvalho’s work offers a dynamic landscape narrative, an abundant fantasy garden of intricate flora, based on her own photographs and explorations of the park as well as historical images of the area. In 99 Plymouth’s Community Room, a site-specific installation combined wall paintings with light boxes to create complex, overlaid imagery of a frenetic, laden landscape that was at once urban and ecologically lush. Before Now was painted with assistance from Brooklyn High School of the Arts students.Before Now was on display at 99 Plymouth from February to early April 2017.
Jesse Chun: Twenty Five Hours
Twenty Five Hours, a site-specific exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Jesse Chun, transformed data about the Brooklyn waterfront and the East River’s tides into visual poems. Chun began the project by collecting information from diverse sources before using various methods of digital manipulation, printing, painting and drawing to create visually engaging works of Concrete Poetry. The result was an installation of text-based paintings on canvas, and pigment prints on paper and organza. Over the course of the exhibition, Chun also curated a public poetry reading by Brooklyn-based poets and artists and led a hybrid workshop of poetry and drawing for children. Twenty Five Hours was on view at 99 Plymouth from April to June 2017.
Sing For Hope Pianos
Sing for Hope, a New York City-based non-profit, placed 60 beautifully painted pianos in parks and public spaces throughout the five boroughs in June 2017. After their time being played and appreciated by the public, the pianos find homes in NYC public schools, where they will continue to support arts and music exposure among the city’s budding artists. In 2017, Sing For Hope brought two of its pianos to BBP- Toons Tuned by Jose Baez at Pier 6 and Lily Pond by Victoria Wrubel at Pier 1.
Keith Ellenbogen: Underwater Wildlife New York
Underwater Wildlife New York was a project of renowned underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen and Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, presented by Uncommon Productions. This exhibition took visitors on a visual journey beneath the waves from Montauk, NY to Cape May, NJ through coastal and ocean waters that support a stunning array of marine wildlife and habitats. The first-of-a-kind images of Underwater Wildlife New York highlighted the surprising diversity and splendor of New York’s local marine species and revealed what they need to thrive.
Underwater Wildlife New York was on view at Empire Fulton Ferry until June 26.
Mary Mattingly: Swale
Created by artist Mary Mattingly, Swale was both an evolving sculpture and a functioning farm producing healthy food. Built from recycled materials and set atop a 130x40 foot barge, Swale was created with two goals in mind: to highlight the function of food as a public resource in cities and to show that recycled materials can be made into productive and aesthetically pleasing structures. Visitors to Swale found persimmon, bok choy, yucca, onion, tomatillos, herbs and other perennial fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants. Rainwater was collected to nourish the plants, as was water from the East River, which was filtered through slow sand and activated carbon filters. Swale was on view at Pier 6 until June 29.