The High Line Plinth is a new landmark destination for major public art commissions in New York City located on the High Line at West 30th Street and 10th Avenue. Designed as the focal point of the Spur, the newest section of the High Line, the High Line Plinth will designate the first space on the High Line dedicated specifically to art, featuring a rotating program of new commissions. The High Line Plinth is inspired by the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, a widely respected, high-profile venue for a changing program of temporary commissioned artworks, whose influence reaches far beyond the art world and inspires dialogue amongst the general public.
After collecting and reviewing more than 50 proposals from a wide range of artists recommended by an international advisory committee, High Line Art has selected 12 shortlisted proposals by artists Jonathan Berger, Minerva Cuevas, Jeremy Deller, Sam Durant, Charles Gaines, Lena Henke, Matthew Day Jackson, Simone Leigh, Roman Ondak, Paola Pivi, Haim Steinbach, and Cosima von Bonin. Hailing from Mexico City, Slovakia, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Israel, and from all corners of the United States, the artists also vary greatly in age – ranging from 32 to 72 years of age. Additionally, the artists differ in the stages at which they find themselves in their careers—from emerging, such as Minerva Cuevas, Lena Henke, and Jonathan Berger; mid-career, like Matthew Day Jackson and Cosima von Bonin; and established, such as Haim Steinbach and Charles Gaines. An exhibition of sculptural models of their proposed artworks will be exhibited from February 21 to April 30, 2017 on the High Line at West 14th Street. In spring 2017, two out of the 12 shortlisted proposals will be selected as the first two High Line Plinth commissions. The first artwork will be installed in 2018 to coincide with the opening of the Spur, and each artwork will be on view for 18 months.
The new section of the High Line that features the Plinth, the Spur, is designed to bring together the three most beloved aspects of the park: horticulture, public programs, and art. As the largest open space on the High Line, the Spur offers unprecedented sightlines with sweeping views of New York City, lush, canopy-like plantings, public seating, and more open space for the High Line to expand its free programming and public art program. The Spur is designed by James Corner Field Operations (Project Lead), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.
The High Line Plinth is one of the only sites in New York City dedicated solely to a changing series of new, contemporary art commissions. Artworks selected for the Plinth will change the skyscape of the city, viewable from many different vantage points: from the street, from rooftops, from the east and west on 30th Street, and from the north and south on 10th Avenue. Given the changes occurring in the neighborhoods surrounding the High Line and in many parts of New York City, it is essential now more than ever to designate a space in the area that is permanently devoted to culture, art, and the exchange of ideas.
High Line Art worked with an international advisory committee of 13 artists, curators, and art world professionals who each submitted recommendations of artists to invite to submit a proposal for the Plinth. This committee includes Carol Bove (artist), Yilmaz Dziewior (Director, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany), Reem Fadda (Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), Rashid Johnson (artist), Eungie Joo (independent curator), Pablo Leon de la Barra (Director, Casa França-Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Helen Molesworth (Chief Curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), Virginia Overton (artist), Franklin Sirmans (Director, Pérez Art Museum Miami), Mari Spirito (Alt art space and Protocinema, Istanbul, Turkey), Phil Tinari (Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China), Adrian Villar Rojas (artist), and Jochen Volz (Curator, 32nd São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil). High Line Art then selected 12 shortlisted artists, two of whom will be chosen to present the first two inaugural High Line Plinth commissions.
Images: Courtesy the artists and Friends of the High Line