Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Park Ave. Exhibit Celebrates Power Of Women

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A unique art exhibit is decorating Park Avenue in memory of a famous French sculptor. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

Sculptures by the late great artist Niki de Saint Phalle just can't be missed, literally. The colorful oversized pieces are on view along Park Avenue from 52nd to 60th Street.

"What set her work apart for the Parks Department is especially on Park Avenue they're so vibrant. There's something that really anyone, you don't have to be an art aficionado to really enjoy these pieces. They're vibrant, they're colorful, they're very active, they're beautiful mosaics," said Parks Department Public Art Coordinator Jennifer Lantzas.

The installation is presented by the Parks Department, the Fund for Park Avenue and Nohra Haime Gallery which represents de Saint Phalle's work. The display marks 10 years since the French-American artist passed away, but her work remains very much a celebration of life.

"She celebrates African American heroes such as Michael Jordan, Miles Davis, and Louie Armstrong. And Niki made a lot of sculptures about women -- the successful, independent, powerful woman, the New York woman," said Nohra Haime Gallery Director Ana Maria de la Ossa.

In addition to being a pioneer, de Saint Phalle is also remembered for "injecting" spontaneity and performance into her earlier art.

"She actually took paint packets as well as packages of food and attached them to her canvases and then shot them which created these really abstract, interesting patterns, different colors on her canvases," Lantzas said.

Whether it's by walking or driving, New Yorkers are sure to experience the artwork in a unique way. And unlike other Parks Department installations, this one can be enjoyed at night.

"Though technically the parks close at night but on Park Avenue you have a chance to see them all night long," Lantzas said.

The sculptures will be on display through mid-November.

For more information, visit nohrahaimegallery.com and nycgovparks.org/art.

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