Summer in New York is primetime for doing cool outdoor stuff: Going to the beach, going to Central Park and, if you’re looking for something more artsy, checking out public art projects around the city. One place where you can see a lot of it in one fell swoop is on the High Line, which stretches from the Meatpacking District to the Hudson Yards. The folks in charge of the High Line are starting to roll out the installations that will enliven the railroad-viaduct-turned-elevated-promenade over the next year. Here’s a rundown of what to expect on your next visit.
Henry Taylor, the floaters
In this large self-portrait mural which opened last month, L.A. artist Henry Taylor strikes a chill pose, wearing shades while drifting in a pool at a friend’s house in Palm Springs, California. Taylor treats himself in the same bold style he’s used to depict friends, family and other African-Americans.
A dozen installations by as many artists are being brought together in this open-air group exhibition that explores the relationship between man and nature in the age of climate change and bio-tech. Here are the artists and projects on view:
-Larry Bamburg is a Texas artist who will be mounting a motion-activated wildlife camera 30 feet in the air to capture birds in flight.
-Alisa Baremboym is creating a sculpture you can sit on. But be careful: according to the artist, the piece will “distort the viewer's perception of the world around them.”
-Sascha Braunig is better known as a painter of surreal portrait heads and figures. On the High Line, though, she’ll present a giant pair of shoes described as “weaponized footwear fit for a witch.”
-Dora Budor is offering a biomorphic “weather-activated” sculpture inspired by Archigram, a cult design and architecture group that was active in London during the swinging ’60s.
-Puerto Rican artist Radamés Juni Figueroa will occupy one of the construction sheds located next to the Hudson Yards, from which he’ll be conducting public programs for High Line visitors.
-Guan Xiao, a Chinese artist based in Beijing, will be providing Instagram-ready moments with objects and fabric forming a “futuristic set for a photo shoot.”
-Marguerite Humeau, a French artist who lives and works in London, sounds like she’s a bit nervous about the spot her work is occupying: She’s building a winged-lion sphinx meant to ward off “potential enemies.” Just hope she doesn’t mean you.
-Berlin artist Veit Laurent Kurz is creating a fountain, but don’t expect cooling mists of water: This one will be pumping something the artist calls Herba-4, a concoction he describes as “herbal juice of the future.”
-Joanna Malinowska’s work sometimes recall Stone-Age art, but here, she's collaborating with artist C.T. Jasper on an audio installation composed of two gramophones: One plays the sound made by the so-called great garbage patch in the Pacific (an “island” of plastic bottles and other trash tossed into the sea that has been herded together by ocean currents into a massive conglomeration of debris), while the other plays the breathing of a black-lung victim.
-Jumana Manna, another Berlin artist, works with discarded furniture and other found items to make abstract sculptures that evoke parts of the body—like, for example, the hand that will be featured in her piece for the High Line.
-Canadian Jon Rafman visualizes the food chain as a circular arrangement of animals (including one human) eating each other.
-L.A. artist Max Hooper Schneider is installing an artificial reef made of natural and synthetic human hair that simulates an intertidal ecosystem