Three Monumental Works of Public Art You Can Experience Outdoors Right Now

Yesterday we got excited about the possibility of seeing art in person at a gallery or museum sometime soon. But for those who are still wary — or for those who simply can’t — there are still plenty of ways to experience art “en plein air,” and even moreso this fall: In New York alone, we found three new temporary installations, each centered around a single material. At the entrance to Central Park, artist Sam Moyer debuted today a stone triptych in collaboration with the Public Art Fund: “Creating a gateway that poetically bridges the architecture of the city and the natural landscape of the park, Moyer investigates the origin and utility of different stones and how they manifest throughout New York City’s built environment.” Three massive doors, framed by bluestone, a rock indigenous to New York, stand ajar, inviting the public to pass through them upon entering or exiting the park.

In Rockefeller Center, as part of the Frieze Sculpture program curated by Noguchi Museum director Brett Littman, French artist Camille Henrot has installed a giant bronze sculpture that evokes both the fin of a shark and the beak of a bird, exploring concurrent themes of threat and tenderness. And in the Hamptons, in the meadow outside the Parrish Art Museum, stands Theaster Gates’s Monument in Waiting, which acts as a response “to the current national reckoning with monuments and historical figures upheld across public spaces and raises questions of why some narratives are celebrated over others — particularly as they relate to the preservation of Black cultural and social histories.” Made from repurposed stone plinths placed upon a large granite plaza — and deliberately devoid of any figure — Monument in Waiting both deconstructs and preserves the concept of a monument.

Samantha Moyer “Doors for Doris” in Central Park

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Doors for Doris, 2020
Bluestone, poured concrete, assorted marble, and steel
Presented by Public Art Fund at Doris C. Freedman Plaza, September 16, 2020—September 12, 2021
Courtesy Sam Moyer Studio and Sean Kelly, New York
Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY

Camille Henrot’s “Inside Job” at Rockefeller Center

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Inside Job, 2019. Bronze, 63 x 104 3/8 x 85 1/16 inches (160 x 265 x 216 cm). In Frieze Sculpture. Installation view, 2020. Rockefeller Center, New York. Photo: Casey Kelbaugh
Courtesy of the artist; Metro Pictures, New York; Frieze; & Casey Kelbaugh

Theaster Gates’ Monument in Waiting at the Parrish Art Museum

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Theaster Gates (American, born 1973) Monument in Waiting, 2020, Granite tile and stone, 360 x 200 x 69 ½ inches. Installation view in the exhibition Field of Dreams, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY. Courtesy of Gray, Chicago/New York. Photo: Jenny Gorman