About the Exhibition
Target Art in the Park features new works by Dan Graham, Mark Dion, and Dalziel + Scullion that highlight the link between city life and the natural world, and explore the present and past of historic Madison Square Park.
Target Art in the Park is organized by the Public Art Fund on behalf of the City Parks Foundation.
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Dalziel + Scullion, Voyager
Scottish artist duo Dalziel + Scullion make their New York debut with Voyager, three two-person expedition tents of cast aluminum. Each tent is exquisitely rendered, with luminous surfaces that mimic the texture of a real tent, suggesting stretched fabric, arched framework and pulled tethers. Sited at the southern end of Madison Square Park, Voyager serves as a reminder of exotic places, the spirit of adventure, and the American wilderness.
Working collaboratively since 1993, Matthew Dalziel (b.1957, Irvine, Scotland) and Louise Scullion (b.1966, Helensburgh, Scotland) have created multimedia and sculptural works that investigate the complex and necessary relationship between humanity and nature. Their recent collaborations – which have ranged from a tin-roofed rain pavilion to an installation reconstructing the origins of a glacial valley in Norway – transport viewers from their familiar contemporary surroundings to imaginary, distant landscapes in which nature is a more rugged, vibrant element.
Mark Dion, Urban Wildlife Observation Unit
Working closely with scientists and non-art institutions, Mark Dion (b.1962, New Bedford, MA) mines the fields of ecology, botany, ethnography, and natural history museum displays in realizing his installations and sculptures. His long-standing interest in environmental issues has led him to create Urban Wildlife Observation Unit, a constructed urban ecological center that will allow park visitors to reexamine their surroundings by taking a closer look at the natural environment – the animals, bugs and trees – in Madison Square Park.
Fashioned after a 19th-century wildlife refuge viewing area, Dion adorns his field station with objects, drawings, and other props that pertain to the park’s natural surroundings. Created with input from park rangers and New York-area naturalists, Dion’s interactive sculptural area allows for a unique and educational engagement with Madison Square Park.
Dan Graham, Bisected Triangle, Interior Curve
Dan Graham (b.1942, Urbana, IL) has created a sleek two-room, walk-in pavilion of two-way reflective glass. During the past three decades, Graham has become internationally famous for his pavilions, which he has created for parks all over the world. Bisected Triangle, Interior Curve will be his first work for a New York City public park. Situated at the northwest end of Madison Square Park, Graham’s pavilion will be a triangular form (20 feet x 24 feet x 24 feet) that integrates into the wedge-shaped geometry of the 19th-century park.
By entering the pavilion through a sliding door and looking out through its glass walls, park visitors can contemplate their own reflections while simultaneously observing the hustle and bustle along Broadway. This optical distortion – both meditative and visually disconcerting – can vary profoundly, as the glass walls become transparent or opaque in shifting natural light. Inside the calm of this unlikely urban oasis, viewers become increasingly conscious of movement and activity surrounding the structure: trees blowing above, passersby and traffic moving past, and even one’s own reflected gaze. Just as moving through urban streets can prompt changing perspectives of the city, pausing inside Graham’s pavilion induces park-goers to see a familiar place in a new light.