New York Public Art Guide | Summer 2017 Cheat sheet to the best public art installations in the city this summer!


By Nicole Bray, Contemporary Art Consultant |


If you happen to find yourself in the city one weekend with an afternoon on your hands, try to catch one of the many public art installations from global artists located from Brooklyn to Manhattan to Queens. Here is your cheat sheet to get you on your way:

Anish Kapoor
Descension (2014)

May 3, 2017 – September 10, 2017
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1
Hours 9 am – 9 pm

Curated by the Public Art Fund Director and Chief Curator, Nicholas Baume, Descension explores the behavior of water, with a continuous swirling motion, this 26-foot-diameter liquid mass converges in a central vortex as if rushing water is being sucked into the earth’s depths.

Anish Kapoor: Descension (2014)

Henry Taylor
the floaters (2017)

March 17, 2017 – March, 2018
High Line Park, at West 22nd Street

Taylor presents a new version of a self-portrait adapted specifically for its setting on the side of a building at West 22nd Street. The work depicts the artist and a friend “blissed out,” relaxing in a swimming pool at a friend’s house in Palm Springs. Reminiscent of David Hockney’s paintings of Los Angeles swimming pools from the 1960s, the floaters, a title which references the eponymous Detroit R&B group, portrays the artist in a moment of pure, leisurely happiness.

Henry Taylor: the floaters (2017)

Sheila Hicks
Hop, Skip, Jump, and Fly: Escape From Gravity

June 2017 – March, 2018
High Line Park, at Western Rail Yards

For her High Line Commission, Hicks draws inspiration from the many kinetic elements that dance around the High Line: the ballet of construction vehicles at the Rail Yards; the multitudinous interwoven layers of construction mesh that cover buildings, scaffolding, and streetscapes; unfinished architectural lattices; and lace of hanging crane cables. Her vibrant installation comprised of twisting tubes of various types of colored fiber will crawl along the rails at the Western Rail Yards, surprising and delighting passerby.

Sheila Hicks: Hop, Skip, Jump, and Fly: Escape From Gravity

Spencer Finch
Lost Man Creek

October 1, 2016 – March 11, 2018
MetroTech Commons, Brooklyn

Lost Man Creek is a miniature forest. But rather than growing naturally and of its own accord, this undulating landscape populated by some 4,000 Dawn Redwoods is a recreation. Artist Spencer Finch partnered with the Save the Redwoods League to identify a 790-acre section of the protected Redwood National Park in California. Significantly scaling down the topography and tree canopy heights, he reimagined this corner of the California forest for MetroTech at a 1:100 scale. While the original trees range from 98 to 380 feet – taller than the buildings that surround the plaza – the trees in the installation are just one to four feet in height.

Spencer Finch: Lost Man Creek

Nari Ward
Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again

April 29, 2017 – September 4, 2017
Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Queens NY

Featuring a series of six newly commissioned outdoor artworks, including a flamboyant herd of concrete goats that seemly strut their stuff across Socrates Sculpture Park on the waterfront in Long Island City, Queens. G.O.A.T. is an acronym for Greatest of All Time, a phrase commonly used in American sports, made famous by Muhammad Ali, and in hip-hop, most notably, as the title of Queens native LL Cool J’s best-selling album. The title alludes to the African-American experience and political theater – common themes in Ward’s work.

Nari Ward: Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again

artREAL contributor Nicole Bray is the founder of Mercer Contemporary and guides private and corporate clients through each step of acquiring, selling, managing, and displaying artwork. She received her Masters in Contemporary Art (Hons.) from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York. She was the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Emerging Curator Fellowship 2015, and has worked at both an Auction House and for a distinguished private family. If you would like to contact Nicole, or if you are interested in starting your own collection, please email her at or visit

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