Featured

February 22, 2017

“Black Artstory Month” in Fort Greene

A celebration of African-American artists in a Brooklyn neighborhood features a treasury of store-window murals and exhibitions.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In a pointed parallel with the commemoration of black history during February, the community-development organization Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership has been highlighting the rich African-American art scene in Fort Greene, in the borough, and in the rest of America, with the fifth annual Black Artstory Month festival. Entitled The Altar: Rituals of … Read More

February 20, 2017

The Lunar Cycle + Installation on Bastion de France

Artist: Mademoiselle Maurice

PARIS + CORSICA – Following a year living in Japan, during which the country suffered many natural and human-made disasters, French artist Mademoiselle Maurice began installing her colorful origami interventions as positive statements about humanity and sustainability. With paper and thread, Maurice spreads the message of the crane, an elegant symbol of good health, longevity, … Read More

February 17, 2017

Arabian Artscape

The United Arab Emirates’ nascent public art scene

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – With a rapidly expanding gallery culture in Dubai, the Louvre and Guggenheim set to open museums in Abu Dhabi, strong annual art fairs in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, more than 18 museums and cultural institutions operating in Sharjah, and government and museum support for bringing in public art from around … Read More

Danna Lorch | Featured, Public Art Review

February 16, 2017

Perception

Artist: eL Seed

CAIRO – The Manshiyat Nasr ward in Cairo is home to the Zaraeeb, a community of Coptic Christians who serve as the city’s garbage recyclers. Over a period of three weeks in March 2016, a massive mural, covering nearly 50 buildings, emerged in Manshiyat Nasr. French-Tunisian street artist eL Seed’s Perception is an enormous piece … Read More

February 13, 2017

NowYouSeeMe!

Films documenting, and celebrating, public art honored at the Louvre

Film can be a powerful medium for documenting public artworks—and sometimes films devoted to public art rise to the level of art themselves. NowYouSeeMe!, in its second year, is an international contest to find and honor the best short films about public art. On January 21, the six 2017 winners—and a seventh film—were screened at … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

February 13, 2017

Going with the Flow

Los Angeles’s first biennial uses public art as a catalyst to engage citizens in a conversation about water

LOS ANGELES – On a sweltering Saturday afternoon in July, I joined a handful of other spectators in crouching at the paved edge of the Los Angeles River. “Water has memory,” a voice said and echoed over the gentle stream where four women dressed in shades of gray stood knee-deep in the water, gesturing toward … Read More

Angella D’Avignon | Featured, On Location, Public Art Review

February 10, 2017

Transforming Spaces

Catherine Widgery’s installations use subtle motions of light, wind, and water to awaken the urban landscape—and those who inhabit it

Catherine Widgery’s epiphany as an artist came just over a decade ago with a sculpture she created for the opening of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum on Cape Cod. Stringing together rusted chains, fishing gear, shells, and other debris, she created a whirlwind of junk in the center of the gallery—and after the exhibit, … Read More

February 6, 2017

Dialing for Wisdom

Candy Chang’s latest project invites passersby to spin a giant wheel and read short fables for insight

PHILADELPHIA – Candy Chang’s Atlas of Tomorrow: A Device for Philosophical Reflection invites interaction and introspection in Philadelphia. Officially unveiled on July 5 on South Juniper Street, the 30-foot mural was months in the making. Chang engaged neighborhood residents in the creation of the mural, made up of more than 200,000 fingerprints. At street level, … Read More

February 3, 2017

Triumphs and Laments

Artist: William Kentridge

ROME – South African artist William Kentridge is best known for prints, drawings, and animated films dealing with the social injustice of apartheid in his home country. He’s also created major public artworks in multiple mediums. This year he used reverse graffiti—power-washing away soot and biological patina from a 13-meter-tall travertine embankment along the River … Read More

January 27, 2017

Breathing Cathedral

American artist Stuart Williams’s moving light work in remembrance of lives lost during the Dresden bombing

Ever since I saw the film Slaughterhouse Five in 1972, based on Kurt Vonnegut’s seminal novel, I have been haunted by a scene in which American prisoners of war are arriving in Dresden by train…unknowingly, just a few days before the bombing of the city in February 1945. As the train rolls across the River … Read More

Christina Lanzl | Featured, Public Art Review

January 16, 2017

Public Ritual

William Pope.L and exorcisms of abject otherness

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re republishing this 2010 Public Art Review article about artist William Pope.L, whose work addresses racism and social inequities.   Best known for his street performances, William Pope.L has worked for decades across a broad array of media including public interventions, stage performances, installations, painting, and found … Read More

Derek Conrad Murray and Soraya Murray | Featured, Magazine Feature, Public Art Review

December 26, 2016

Pure Genius

MacArthur Fellowships have a long tradition of rewarding innovative public artists—and of providing the resources for recipients to live free and dream big

Economic uncertainty, regardless of how it exhibits itself, has a sneaky way of stifling creativity. Conversely, financial freedom is often a potent muse. Just ask the artists, writers, scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, and other pioneering souls who—after being awarded a vaunted MacArthur Fellowship—suddenly found themselves blessed with the freedom to dream radically, experiment spontaneously and, if … Read More