Art In the Open

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday April 19, 2018

It almost seems like Spring—at least the daffodils and crocus are doing their bit to satisfy our hungry eyes. So this might be a weekend for enjoying some outdoor art installations to celebrate the season.

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 2018 Roof Garden Commission opened this week with a colossal bronze sculpture by Huma Bhabha. Titled We Come in Peacethe figural group addresses themes of colonialism, war, displacement, and memories of place. Using found materials and the detritus of everyday life, she creates haunting human figures that hover between abstraction and figuration, monumentality and entropy. The title of the installation suggests that it's a first-contact narrative between humans and aliens. In a recent interview, Huma Bhabha (born 1962, Karachi, Pakistan) said that her inspiration for the piece comes from science fiction and that perhaps “there is something in these two sculptures which deals with the relationship between the powerful and the disenfranchised. One is summoning the other one, or something to that extent.” View the entire interview with Met curator Shanay Jhaveri here.

On Sunday, April 22, Huma Bhabha will be present at the opening of an exhibition of recent works, from 2-6 pm. Clearing, 43 East 78thStreet, NY, NY. Info

She will also be present that day at an opening of an exhibition of With A Trace, works on paper and sculpture from 4 to 6 pm at Salon 94. 12 East 94thStreet, Y, NY Info 

We Come In Peace by Huma Bhabha; photos: Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum


This week High Line Art opened the 2018 commissions that populate the suspended park between Gansevoort and 30th Streets. The exhibition, titled Agora, looks at the power of art to change society, the role of art in public space, and whether art can be a form of protest. On the High Line—a public space and a natural platform—nine artists share their experiences inhabiting, speaking out of, and challenging the assumed boundaries of public space, where different voices can be heard, addressing important topics such as women’s rights, mass incarceration, the environment, and immigration. Map 

On the High Line: C.R.E.A.M., 2018 by Sable Elyse Smith (artist’s rendering)


In June, Erwin Wurm (b. 1954 in Bruck an der Mur/Styria, Austria) will bring Hot Dog Bus to one of New York City’s most popular summer destinations, Brooklyn Bridge Park. This modified, vintage Volkswagen Microbus has been transformed into a bright yellow, overstuffed food truck from which free hot dogs will be served to visitors all summer, hinting at the gastronomic connections between the City’s most iconic street food and the artist’s Austrian homeland. The bus’ bloated form will encourage audiences to reconsider the relationship between capitalism and consumption in today’s culture, while the act of eating, according to Wurm, can be considered an additive sculptural process in its own right. Public Art Fund Info

Next week Anselm Kiefer will give a talk at The New School in conversation with British art historian Richard Calvocoressi regarding the Public Art Fund’s upcoming exhibition, Uraeus, the artist’s first site-specific outdoor public sculpture in the United States. Located at the top of Rockefeller Center’s Channel Gardens, facing Fifth Avenue, this large-scale sculpture, full of symbolic resonance, will be unveiled on May 2nd, creating a majestic image: a book with wings outstretched as if in flight. Clustered around the base are further outsize lead books, while a large snake coils up the column towards the winged-book. Public Arts Fund Talks at the New School, April 30, 6:30 pm. The New School, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY Info




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