Olaf Breuning, Clouds, for The Public Art Fund | Central Park South and 59th Street | March 4 - August 24 | The latest installment in the Central Park 'plaza', Clouds is 35' tall aluminum and wood sculpture is meant to resemble the childlike imagination and naiveté of school play backdrops.
Zilvinas Kempinas, Scarecrow, for Socrates Sculpture Park | Long Island City, Queens | May 11 - August 3 | This will be the largest installation in Socrates Sculpture Park history (250' long and 13' high) and Kempinas's first major outdoor work in the United States. Site-specific and made from stainless steel poles strung with mylar ribbon, it will respond to the expansive horizontality of the surrounding land while echoing the shimmering movement of the nearby East River.
Ed Ruscha, Honey I Twisted Through More Damn Traffic Today for High Line Art | Next to the High Line at West 22nd Street | May 2014 - May 2015 | Ed Ruscha is one of my favorite artists (and a major part of my dissertation) and this work, incredibly!, represents Ruscha's first public commission in New York! It's a perfect combination of the artist's interest in advertising sloganeering, cheeky humor, text as visual form, and the realities of modern, urban life. Plus, isn't it much more interesting to look at than another boring billboard?
Matt Felsen, Lost Landmarks, for Parsons Design + Technology Masters Program | West 42nd Street, Between 5th & 6th Avenues | May 10 only! | A very cool project by grad student Matt Felson, Lost Landmarks introduces modern technology into historic Tower Optical viewers to literally help you see into the past. Looking through the viewer lets you see iconic landmarks that are no longer there; previous landmarks featured for one day only have included the 9th Regiment Armory (April 26) and the old Grand Central terminals (May 3). Check out the view from West 42nd Street this Saturday, May 10 for the project's last installment. (More details @LostLandmarks on Twitter).
CDR Studio, Governor's Cup, for the Figment Arts Festival | Governor's Island* | June 7-8 (but maybe longer?) | Made from 30,000 recycled cups culled from venues all across New York, this crazy pavilion will house the very cool and interactive Figment Arts Festival this summer. The thousands of cups will be attached through thousands of zip ties (NYCers love using those for art!) to craft a wild serpentine pattern that will wrap around trees, move with the wind, and all around respond to the environment. (The concept reminds me a lot of the fabulous Tara Donovan's work; if it's half as good as her stuff, the piece should be incredible.)
Kara Walker, A Subtlety or The Marvelous Sugar Baby for Creative Time | Domino Sugar Factory, Williamsburg, Brooklyn | May 10 - July 6 | Probably one of the most anticipated art events of the summer, famed political artist Kara Walker is working with Creative Time to call forth the powerful (and exploitative) history of the workers at the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. Details as to the actual physical nature of the installation have been kept hush hush, but knowing Walker's work it promises to be expansive, thought-provoking and visually arresting.
UPDATE: Creative Time just released a newsletter with this preview photo of the Walker work and a link to this recent New York Times review of the show by Blake Gopnik. The work looks to be a colossal 'negress' sphinx coated in sugar; incredible!
UPDATE x 2: Reading Gopnik's article called forth the underlying comments about blue collar labor and manufacturing history in the US; on that level, this work is remarkably similar to Ann Hamilton's incredible indigo blue installation for the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC in 1991, a touchstone for the first wave of American installation art.
*There will be a ton of new public art on Governor's Island this summer; read about some other projects here.