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Lightness of Being is open at City Hall Park (slide show)

The Public Art Fund's latest outdoor art installation, "Lightness of Being" in City Hall Park, is also one of its most whimsical and kid-friendly.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

Photograph: Marielle Solan

The Lightness of Being at City Hall Park

Downtown's City Hall Park has some new residents families will likely want to meet as soon as they can: the 11 delightful, if also enigmatic works by an international array of artists that make up the new exhibition "Lightness of Being," organized by the Public Art Fund. You can enter at any point, of course, but you may want to take the most southerly entrance for maximum effect. There you'll encounter Daniel Buren's Suncatcher, a kaleidoscopic, pergola-like installation that casts colored light onto anything below it if the sun's hitting it right, and Olaf Breuning's The Humans, a humorous and lovable sextet of sculptures that roughly depict the artist's view of human evolution, starting with a primordial blob of a person and ending with a kind of fat cat in a tux with a bronze tail. Just beyond is British artist Gary Webb's Buzzing It Down, a totemic column of strikingly colored, gigantic shapes stacked one atop the other that is equal parts classic and totally new. Kids will also get a kick out of Alicja Kwade's circular bicycle, which looks as if a giant squeezed a ten-speed with its fist; Franz West's Untitled, a set of colorful, upside-down works artfully placed on the lawn at the park's northeastern end; and Sarah Lucas's enormous concrete squashes, on which children are invited to play. What may startle young visitors most is the installation's only performance art piece: Ugo Rondinone's dog days are over, a (live) clown who does nothing but sit on bench and act in a most unclownly—read: morose—manner.


"Lightness of Being" is on view at City Hall Park through December 13.


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