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Admire the innovative and memorable art woven into the natural landscape of the park. From sculptures to freestanding installations, new work is introduced every year, so there’s always a reason to come back.
Scroll down to see what is currently on display.

Black Atlantic: About the Artworks

  • Agali Awamu (Togetherness), 2022

      Leilah Babirye (b. 1985, Kampala, Uganda; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) presents two new groups of monumental wood sculptures in white pine. She carved these figurative forms by hand and chainsaw, drawing on her training in traditional African techniques. Babirye has embellished them by burning, burnishing, and adorning them with welded metal and found discarded materials in ways that transform the refuse into something spectacular, showing its intrinsic value. These sculptures, which she calls “trans queens,” are intended to “stand proud as beacons of freedom that welcome an international LGBTQ+ community.”

  • Gulf Stream, 2022

      Hugh Hayden (b. 1983, Dallas, TX; lives and works in New York, NY) conceived this exhibition and has also contributed this surreal artwork to Black Atlantic. Hayden has combined a clinker-built boat hull exterior with a whale like skeletal interior to create this empty vessel washed ashore. The form and “Gulf Stream” title simultaneously reference and “remix” an 1899 painting by Winslow Homer of a lone Black figure in dire circumstances on a wrecked boat at sea and Kerry James Marshall’s 2003 reinterpretation that has transformed the scene to one of leisure. Hayden sees his Gulf Stream sculpture as “both a boat and a body, whose unknown passengers may have made it to safety or have been swallowed by the sea.”

  • On Elbows, 2022

      Dozie Kanu (b. 1993, Houston, TX; lives and works in Santarém, Portugal) has created an ensemble of surreal objects that highlights the tensions between public and private aspects of the self. A vessel of black liquid that pulses at the rate of a human heartbeat and a chaise longue chair (typically associated with psychoanalysis) cast in concrete evoke self-reflection and also the murky depths of the individual and collective unconscious. The sofa’s “Texan Wire Wheels” rims (also referred to as “elbows” or “swangas”) reference the vibrant automobile “SLAB culture” of the artist’s native Houston. He describes the customization of cars within this tradition as a “free and playful fashioning of one’s own material property – gestures that I find deeply complex and layered given the relationship that Black Americans continue to navigate between ownership and agency.”

  • We Pressed Our Bellies Together and Kicked Our Feet, We Became Something So Alien That We No Longer Had Natural Predators, 2022 We Watched Humankind Evolve as We Absorbed into The Sea Floor, the Moon Stared Down at Us and Told Us the Earth Had a Heavy Heart, 2022 We Wondered If the Angels Had Abandoned Us, Or If They Simply Changed Shape Without Letting Us Know. Every Night Creatures Vanished, Every Morning Strangers Would Arrive, 2022

      Tau Lewis (b. 1993, Toronto, Canada; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) was inspired to make these three six-foot diameter cast iron sculptures by her “years of fascination with crinoids,” a family of marine creatures that includes starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and their prehistoric ancestors. These animals each have stacked disc-shaped stems with unique designs. Their five-pointed symmetry is reflected in Lewis’s sculptures, with repeated patterns that incorporate West African Adinkra symbols. The artist’s castings “ruminate on the wandering of these ancient animals, the global dispersal of their fossilized bodies, and their coexistence with Black bodies above and below the Atlantic and throughout the diaspora.”

  • Ruins of Empire, 2022

      Kiyan Williams (b. 1991, Newark, NJ; lives and works in New York, NY) envisions the “ruins of empire” by reimagining an iconic symbol of American values, The Statue of Freedom. The bronze monument designed by Thomas Crawford has stood atop the dome of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. since 1863 (a structure built using enslaved labor). The soil surface of the artist’s adaptation makes the sculpture appear to be in a state of decomposition and decay, “embodying how American ideals of freedom are tied to subjugation, drawing inspiration from sci-fi tropes of a destroyed monument like the Statue of Liberty as a symbol for a world ruined by environmental devastation.”

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