About the Exhibitions
Our 2022 exhibition program will feature five new exhibitions across three cities that will feature 28 artists from around the world. The 2022 season begins with Global Positioning, a presentation of newly commissioned works by 20 international artists shaping key cultural conversations in their own communities, debuting on JCDecaux bus shelters throughout New York City, Chicago, and Boston. The exhibition will amplify creative voices drawn from disparate regions, including Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, South America, and South and East Asia. In May, a group exhibition co-curated by artist Hugh Hayden and Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer will open at Brooklyn Bridge Park, bringing together new artworks by Leilah Babirye, Hugh Hayden, Dozie Kanu, Tau Lewis, and Kiyan Williams. Black Atlantic will explore threads of connection among this global group of artists and highlight the complex hybrid identities that have developed through the exchange of culture and ideas over centuries along transatlantic networks. Ushering in the summer season, Wyatt Kahn’s seven new large-scale sculptures will be on view at City Hall Park for his first public art exhibition. Combining elements of geometric abstraction with playful “readymade” forms from everyday life, the deep rust-colored Cor-Ten steel works will create a dialogue with the park’s lush surroundings. For the seventh iteration of Public Art Fund’s partnership with JCDecaux, Wendy Red Star will mine artifacts from museum collections related to her Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe to create a new series of works melding photography, painting, and collage. The works, presented at large-scale on hundreds of bus shelters across three cities, will illuminate Indigenous cultural perspectives for broad and diverse audiences. In September, Bharti Kher will welcome the fall season with a towering, new bronze sculpture of a mythical mother figure—the largest and most ambitious work she’s created to date—who embodies women’s empowerment and inclusivity.
“Traversing oceans of geography, memory, and experience, the new works by each artist in our program celebrate the power, persistence, and individuality of the creative imagination”, says Public Art Fund Artistic & Executive Director Nicholas Baume. “Spanning sculpture, painting, photography, drawing, and more, these compelling artworks also invite us to enter a collective dialogue that recognizes our shared ability to reimagine the future.”
Opening January 26
JCDecaux Bus Shelters Across New York, NY, Chicago, IL, & Boston, MA
This January, 20 artists from 17 countries across six continents will come together for a group exhibition presented on JCDecaux bus shelters in New York City, Chicago, and Boston. The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how we interact with one another, emphasizing our shared vulnerability. Concurrently, it has revealed and sharpened many divisions that have been unequally distributed among demographic groups, communities, and regions. Bringing a multitude of perspectives from cultures across the world, the 20 artists in this exhibition have created new works that help us begin to understand our reshaped and ever-changing world. These multidisciplinary works reflect on both individual and cultural identity through explorations of tradition, fantasy, and humor, as well as timely themes ranging from the environment to social anxiety. Global Positioning will provide a point of cultural reconnection with the world beyond our own borders as we reconvene with one another.
The artists include: Walid Al Wawi (b. 1988, Palestine / Jordan; lives in London, United Kingdom and Dubai, UAE), Tony Albert (b. 1981, Townsville, Australia; lives in Brisbane, Australia), Myriam Boulos (b. 1992, Beirut, Lebanon; lives in Beirut, Lebanon), Lastenia Canayo (b. 1962, Roroboya, Peru; lives in Coronel Portillo, Peru), Sean Connelly (b. 1984, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i; lives in Honolulu, Hawai‘i), Zoncy Heavenly (b. 1987, Tanintharyi, Myanmar; lives in Yangon, Myanmar), Ali Kazim (b. 1979, Pakistan; lives in Lahore, Pakistan), Dada Khanyisa (b. 1991, Umzimkhulu, South Africa; lives in Cape Town, South Africa), Pushpa Kumari (b. 1969, Madhubani, India; lives in India), Karam Natour (b. 1992, Nazareth, Israel; lives in Tel Aviv, Israel), Nolan Oswald Dennis (b. 1988, Lusaka, Zambia; lives in Johannesburg, South Africa), Rosana Paulino (b. 1967, São Paulo, Brazil; lives in São Paulo, Brazil), Denisse Ariana Pérez (b. 1988, Santiago, Dominican Republic; lives in Barcelona, Spain), Jason Phu (b. 1989, Sydney, Australia; lives in Melbourne, Australia), Abel Rodríguez (b. 1941, La Chorrera, Amazonas; lives in Bogota, Colombia), Kwan Sheung Chi (b. 1980, Hong Kong; lives in Hong Kong), Chen Wei (b. 1980, Zhejiang, China; lives in Beijing, China), Kaylene Whiskey (b. 1976, Mpartnwe (Alice Springs), Australia; lives in Indulkana, Australia), Vasantha Yogananthan (b. 1985, France; lives in Marseille, France), and Rufai Zakari (b. 1990, Accra, Ghana; lives in Accra and Bawku, Ghana).
Global Positioning is curated by Public Art Fund Artistic & Executive Director Nicholas Baume, Curator Daniel S. Palmer, and Associate Curator Katerina Stathopoulou.
Opening May 17
Brooklyn Bridge Park
For the first time in his career, Hugh Hayden will take on the dual role of artist and co-curator to realize the group exhibition Black Atlantic. The exhibition—which brings together the international voices of artists Leilah Babirye, Hugh Hayden, Dozie Kanu, Tau Lewis, and Kiyan Williams—will be on view from May to November 2022 throughout Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is located on a historic port leading to the Atlantic Ocean. Hayden titled the exhibition Black Atlantic, after the book by Paul Gilroy, to highlight the complex hybrid identities that have developed through the exchange of culture and ideas over centuries along transatlantic networks linking Africa, the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. The five artists share a commitment to material exploration, a fusion of the contemporary with the historical, and processes of making and fabrication that include working by hand. For Black Atlantic, they have been commissioned to create new site-responsive works that speak to the exhibition theme. Their wide-ranging responses—both materially and conceptually—create an exchange of ideas among artists of a similar generation that proposes an open, multifaceted, and heterogeneous idea of Black identity in the United States today.
Black Atlantic is co-curated by artist Hugh Hayden and Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer.
WYATT KAHN: LIFE IN THE ABSTRACT
Opening June 8
City Hall Park, Lower Manhattan
Brooklyn-based artist Wyatt Kahn will share seven monumental sculptures for his first exhibition in public space at City Hall Park in 2022. Kahn has adapted forms he previously explored in his canvas works, transforming them into seventeen massive Cor-Ten steel objects. Assembled in unique compositions, the largest will weigh nearly 3300 lbs and measure over 15 feet wide. Over the past ten years, Kahn has examined the spatial relationship between painting and sculpture to construct a visual vocabulary of representational and abstract forms that integrate formal concerns with materials from everyday life. The new works unite geometric shapes from his earliest series of canvas paintings with oversized figurative “readymade” icons taken from domestic life, including a comb and phone, among others. Juxtapositions such as glasses resting on abstract shapes and a foot about to crush a lightbulb produce playful narrative compositions. Each component comprises numerous sections of steel that have been welded together into block-like forms, their front and back mirroring each other to create an illusion of drawing in space. The deep, rusted red tone of the sculptures is a result of the natural weathering process of Cor-Ten steel, contrasting with the lush green foliage of City Hall Park and evoking the steel structures of the city’s architecture and infrastructure. Life in the Abstract expands the lineage of modernist public sculpture, while the significance of each artwork takes on personal meaning and resonance for the viewer.
Wyatt Kahn: Life in the Abstract is curated by Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer.
WENDY RED STAR
Opening August 10
JCDecaux Bus Shelters Across New York, NY, Chicago, IL, & Boston, MA
For her first public art exhibition, Wendy Red Star will mine the archives and holdings of cultural institutions in New York and beyond to locate historical objects and photographs that relate to her Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe. Translating these findings into timely vibrant artworks, this new body of work will incorporate archival and contemporary photography, painting, and collage and will be presented at large scale on JCDecaux bus shelters across New York City, Chicago, and Boston. Red Star’s artistic practice is informed by her Apsáalooke cultural heritage and explores its junction with colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society to highlight Indigenous people’s individual identity. Taking her work beyond the walls of the museum, this project provides Red Star the opportunity to share her visual research with broad audiences, building new connections and growing communities.
Wendy Red Star’s exhibition is curated by Public Art Fund Associate Curator Katerina Stathopoulou.
BHARTI KHER: ANCESTOR
Opening September 8
Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park
Bharti Kher’s 18-foot tall painted bronze sculpture will grace Doris C. Freedman Plaza at the entrance to Central Park, marking the most ambitious work in her career. Works in Kher’s “Intermediaries” series, which she has been developing for five years, begin as miniature sculptures sourced by the artist from secondhand markets across India. These small clay figurines are avatars of humans, animals, and mythical beings that she repairs and reassembles into hybrid forms. For Kher’s largest work in this series, she will pay homage to and celebrate the position of the mother as a figure of empowerment, creation, and refuge, who manifests as both human and otherworldly. More than 20 heads adorn the front of the mother’s body, embodying male and female multiplicity. She is draped traditionally in a sari, and the artist has elaborated a fantastical hairstyle with a multi-lobed bun and three long braids. Kher’s depiction creates an image of a powerful goddess with her multicultural and diverse children. She embodies the possibility for an interconnected and a shared sense of belonging.
Bharti Kher: Ancestor is curated by Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer.