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Photographer: Michael Noble Jr.

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr.

New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Thanks to Frieze Sculpture and the Public Art Fund, there are more reasons than ever to get some snaps with your sun

Despite—or perhaps because of—the Vessel’s savage reviews, it’s become a hit on social media. Currently, there are 45,000 #thevessel entries on Instagram alone, and it’s not even high tourist season yet. (The idea of families dragging themselves up those staircases in the August heat is borderline #unthinkable.)

For anyone interested in avoiding the physical strain or ticketed entry, or for anyone who’s interested in great art, a wealth of spectacular public art around New York is waiting to be discovered. Most recently, Frieze Sculpture, an outgrowth of the Frieze New York art fair, unveiled 14 works across the Rockefeller Center Campus for viewing through June 28. The Public Art Fund, a nonprofit founded in 1977, installs contemporary art in New York’s five boroughs and will unveil a series of new projects over the summer. 

Check out some of the highlights below.

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Mark Manders’s Tilted Head, Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park

Manders makes sculptures out of bronze that look as if they’re made of cracked, overbaked clay. This work was installed under the auspices of the Public Art Fund, and will be on view through Sept 1. E. 59th Street at Fifth Avenue

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Donald Lipski’s Spot, in front of NYU-Langone Medical Center’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital

The four-story sculpture of a dog balancing a taxi on its nose was installed in front of the new children’s hospital last year. The dog component of the sculpture is 38 feet high and made of fiberglass and steel. The yellow Prius is real and was donated to the project by Toyota Motor Corp. E. 34th Street at First Avenue

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Ruth Ewan’s Silent Agitator, on the High Line

The High Line has its own arts program. A recent installation is a clock by artist Ruth Ewan, whose practice centers on activism and social engagement. This work, which spells out “organization” where a clock’s hours would be, is based on a picture that was originally made for the Industrial Workers of the World labor union in the early 20th century. The sculpture will be on view through March 2020. The High Line, at W. 24th Street near Tenth Avenue

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Jaume Plensa’s Behind the Walls, 2019, at Rockefeller Center

Every year, during its fall edition in London, the Frieze art fair puts on a mini-sculpture exhibition in Regent’s Park, with works provided by galleries that have booths at the fair. Given that Frieze New York is held on Randall’s Island, it’s something of a relief to find that its equivalent sculpture iteration is much more centrally located. Fifth Avenue, between E. 49 Street and E. 50 Street.

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

For Something Completely Different: Green-Wood Cemetery

What do Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leonard Bernstein, and Louis Comfort Tiffany have in common? They’re all buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, a 478-acre collection—almost as big as nearby Prospect Park—of spectacular 19th century and 20th century mausoleums and statues. Trust us, it’s worth the trip. Fifth Avenue and 25th Street, South Slope, Brooklyn

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Robert Indiana’s Love, on top of Paul Kasmin Gallery

The High Line has emerged as one of the best places in New York to see both public art and art in public. For the latter category, the privately owned Kasmin gallery has installed three large sculptures from Robert Indiana’s iconic Love series on its roof, which is adjacent to the High Line. The High Line, at W. 27th Street (near Tenth Avenue

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Kiki Smith’s Rest Upon, 2009, at Rockefeller Center

Sculptures by 14 artists are spread across the Rockefeller Center campus in public areas and in building lobbies. This one is by Kiki Smith, whose retrospective, Procession, traveled last year from the Haus Der Kunst in Munich to cities around the world.  Fifth Avenue between E. 49 Street and E. 50 Street

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Alicja Kwade’s Parapivot at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Every year, the Met commissions an artist to create an installation on its roof overlooking Central Park; every year it’s one of the summer's sleeper hits. Kwade’s sculpture, on view through Oct. 27, is meant to evoke miniature solar systems. 1000 Fifth Ave., at E. 82nd Street

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Siah Armajani’s Bridge Over Tree, in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Originally shown in 1970, Armajani’s 91-foot-long (interactive!) artwork is set on the edge of the East River in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The work was installed in conjunction with Armajani's retrospective at the Met Breuer and presented by the Public Art Fund and will be on view through Sept. 29. Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn, New Dock Street, Brooklyn

Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg

relates to New York City’s Most Instagrammable Public Art (That’s Not the Vessel)

Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s "Untitled," 1989, to be installed above Village Cigars on Sheridan Square

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969, the Public Art Fund is presenting Gonzalez-Torres’s 1989 billboard, an artwork originally installed to mark the 20th anniversary of the gay rights revolt. The work will be shown in its original location during June. 110 Seventh Ave. South, at Christopher Street

Photo courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY, Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Courtesy of The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation