Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Lightness of Being" - Whimsical and Playful Sculptures at City Hall Park

Public Art Fund presents a new art installation called "Lightness of Being" at City Hall Park (Broadway and Chambers Street) in Lower Manhattan. This exhibition brings together the work of eleven international artists. It features sculptures of very different scales and materials, as well as a weekly performance. Significant recent works by senior figures such as Daniel Buren (b. 1938) and Franz West (1947 - 2012) are shown alongside pieces by emerging and mid-career artists including Alicja Kwade (b. 1979) and Olaf Breuning (b. 1970). In different ways, all of the works on view share a sense of whimsy and visual invention. In contrast to the more formal traditions of historic statuary and fountains, these public artworks engage us with their conceptual wit, eccentric forms, and imaginative transformation of everyday objects.

A sense of playfulness may be found in the manipulation of scale and mass, where small becomes large, light becomes heavy, and vice versa. Our perceptions may be altered by subtle atmospheres of transparent color or unexpected manipulations of familiar forms. Enormous concrete vegetables make surprising new park benches, while a pair of goofy cowboy hats top off an improbable assemblage of found objects cast in bronze. Whether referring to the history of art, abstract forms, or simply to everyday life, the works of these eleven artists show us that serious art also has its lighter side. The exhibition continues through December 13, 2013. (Description of the exhibition from the Public Art Fund website).

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