Public Art Fund announces four solo exhibitions that anchor its upcoming 2019 season featuring Iranian-born, Minneapolis-based Siah Armajani; internationally renowned Dutch-born Mark Manders; Cuban-born, New York-based Carmen Herrera; and the seminal Chicago-based Pope.L. The season begins on February 20 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, with the unveiling of Siah Armajani’s Bridge Over Tree (1970), the first and only presentation of this iconic, interactive sculpture since its original installation more than fifty years ago.
A pivotal work in the artist’s six-decade career, the bridge rises to a peak to accommodate a lone tree planted beneath it, creating a structure more conceptually-driven than functional. Public Art Fund’s presentation coincides with Armajani’s career-spanning survey Siah Armajani: Follow This Line at The Met Breuer, New York, and is the sole free, outdoor component of the traveling retrospective. Opening on March 6 is Mark Manders’ Tilted Head, a colossal new commission that brings the artist’s highly distinctive style to the southeast entrance to Central Park. Here, park-goers will encounter a monumental androgynous bronze head, seemingly made of drying moldable clay, incomplete and revealing the cracks of time. Creating an intriguing narrative, the universality of the image is enhanced by the tranquility of the classical face, which is accompanied by remnants of objects that appear left behind as if the sculpture was abandoned in the studio, frozen in time. On July 11, 103-year-old artist Carmen Herrera will enliven City Hall Park with a series of brightly colored, monumental geometric sculptures in Estructuras Monumentales.
This exhibition is the first major outdoor presentation of her three-dimensional works. A rare break from the two-dimensional plane of the canvas that she is most known for today, the exhibition features five sculptures, three of which have never been seen, based on historic designs from her on-going Estructuras series. In October, Public Art Fund, together with the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art, will present three complementary exhibitions titled Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration. The exhibitions will offer the public an unparalleled opportunity to engage with some of the artist’s most pressing questions about American society. As part of this important multi-institutional show, Public Art Fund will unveil a new performative work inspired by Pope.L’s iconic crawls. Titled Conquest, the commission will be the largest and most ambitious in this ongoing set of works, exploring the potential and power of collective action.
“These four powerful and rigorous voices, each highly distinctive, resonate for our moment in compelling ways,” says Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume. “Born in four different countries (Cuba, Iran, USA, Netherlands), they also represent four different generations, from the global modernist abstraction of Carmen Herrera’s monochromatic forms to the cryptic personal poetry of Mark Manders’ figural bronze. Combined with the acute cultural sensitivity and social engagement in the work of both Siah Armajani and Pope.L, this season demonstrates the indispensable place of art in our public sphere.”