High Line Announces New Permanent Space for Contemporary Art Commissions

New York’s High Line has become increasingly known for its displays of public art. Now, the West Side park will introduce a permanent space for work by international artists.

Inspired by London’s famous Fourth Plinth, a Trafalgar Square pedestal meant for an equestrian statue that was never built and is now given over to contemporary artists each year, the High Line Plinth will make its debut in 2018. It will be the focal point of the Spur, the park’s final section, at West 30th Street and 10th Avenue.

A shortlist of 12 artists, winnowed down from 50 proposals from artists recommended by an international advisory committee, are in the running for the inaugural presentation: Jonathan Berger, Minerva Cuevas, Jeremy Deller, Sam Durant, Charles Gaines, Lena Henke, Matthew Day Jackson, Simone Leigh, Roman Ondák, Paola Pivi, Haim Steinbach, and Cosima von Bonin.

Lena Henke, <em>Ascent of a Woman</em> (2016). Courtesy of the artist. ” width=”1024″ height=”754″ srcset=”https://i2.wp.com/artistswork.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/high-line-announces-new-permanent-space-for-contemporary-art-commissions-1.jpg?fit=840%2C840 1024w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2016/04/HENKE-Lena-2-300×221.jpg 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/></p>
<p class=Lena Henke, Ascent of a Woman (2016), a proposal for the High Line Plinth. Courtesy of the artist.

The committee will choose two winning proposals this spring following an exhibition of sculptural models by each artist, displayed on the High Line at West 14th Street (February 9–April 30, 2017). Each piece will be on view in the park for 18 months, and will be tall enough to be seen from the street below.

The Spur, which will be the largest open space on the High Line, is being designed to function as a public plaza. A canopy of plantings will hang from the Hudson Yards office building above, while visitors will be greeted by sweeping views of the Hudson River.

Jonathan Berger, Bell Machine, (2016), a rendering of his proposal for the High Line Plinth. Courtesy of James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro/the City of New York/the artist.

Jonathan Berger, Bell Machine, (2016), a rendering of his proposal for the High Line Plinth. Courtesy of James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro/the City of New York/the artist.

“The High Line Plinth will provide artists with an opportunity to work on a larger scale than ever before possible…and to engage with the breathtaking vistas that open up around this new site,” said High Line Art director and chief curator Cecilia Alemani in a statement. “As a new landmark to this space, the High Line Plinth will create a new symbol of this incredible nexus of horticulture, art, and public space in the ever-evolving metropolis that is New York City.”

Formerly a line of the New York Central Railroad, the elevated rail line last saw train traffic in 1980, and fell into disrepair before being repurposed and revitalized by Friends of the High Line. It reopened as a public park in 2009.

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