Artists Keith Edmier, Roxy Paine, Kiki Smith, Kim Sooja, and Brian Tolle were commissioned to make dynamic new works suited for specific sites within Central Park for the Public Art Fund and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s co-curated exhibition in Central Park as part of the Whitney Museum’s 2002 Biennial Exhibition. Together, these five installations represent a broad overview of contemporary approaches to public art that are both thought-provoking and accessible to the largest possible audience.
Bluff, by Roxy Paine (b.1966, New York City, NY), is a fifty-foot-tall tree made of brilliantly reflective stainless steel. Bluff's heavy industrial plates form a two-foot-wide trunk that support more than five thousand pounds of cantilevered branches, welded together from twenty-four different diameters of steel pipes and rods. Its gleaming frame remains unchanged as its environment shifts from winter into spring. By announcing its grand, manmade artifice rather than attempting to blend in with the surrounding real plants and trees, Bluff is a cunning reminder that Central Park is itself an artificial sanctuary, a product of city planners as much as Mother Nature.
The Whitney Biennial in Central Park, organized by the Public Art Fund, is sponsored by Bloomberg. The exhibition received additional support from City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Challenge Grant 2002, The Third Millennium Foundation, and Melissa and Robert Soros.
Keith Edmier's Emil Dobbelstein and Henry J. Drope, 1944 is a project of the Public Art Fund program In the Public Realm, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, The Greenwall Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, The Silverweed Foundation, The JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and friends of the Public Art Fund.
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