Monday, November 21, 2011

Mad. Sq. Art: Jacco Olivier

Mad. Sq. Art is pleased to announce an outdoor exhibition of six painterly animations by acclaimed Dutch artist Jacco Olivier as the final presentation of its 2011 season. Mad. Sq. Art celebrates the artist’s first public art commission in New York City, which will feature both new, site-specific and existing works displayed throughout the Park. Olivier’s series of stop-motion animations will brighten New York’s winter landscape with moving images exemplary of the artist’s characteristically rich color palette and lavishly textured style. The exhibition will remain on view daily in Madison Square Park from December 15, 2011 through March 12, 2012.

Beginning with a single image, Olivier introduces subtle alterations with each additional layer through his process of over-painting.  After he paints and re-paints his images, Olivier photographs each stage of the process as stop-motion animation until an original no longer exists. The resulting work reveals a history of the painting process that captures scraps of narrative and visual iconography brought to light as a moving painting.

According to the artist, Jacco Olivier, exhibiting in Madison Square Park provides “an opportunity to go totally abstract and see things on a molecular level, to change perspective[…] to show an animation in the ground, you really have to look down to see it, which creates a little private moment for the viewer that is free of narrative, subject or meaning.”

President of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Debbie Landau comments, “Mad. Sq. Art is pleased to bring Jacco Olivier and his richly colorful work to Madison Square Park. The subtle yet engaging quality of his animations will infuse an appreciated energy into the Park during the winter months ahead, drawing connections between scenes of natural landscape in his beautiful, painterly animations and the natural life of the Park that so commonly lays hidden beneath the snow each winter.”

Olivier’s exhibition for Madison Square Park will feature a combination of his larger and more intimate works including: Stumble (2009); Hide (2004); Rabbit Hole (2011); Bird (2011); Deer (2011); and Home (2004).Animations will be displayed on screens imbedded in and suspended throughout the Park’s existing landscape, equally animating life in the Park’s heavily trafficked and quieter spaces. Olivier’s moving images of flora and fauna are set to artfully draw parallels to their natural accompaniments in Madison Square Park for its 50,000 daily visitors.

In connection with the exhibition, Mad. Sq. Art will publish a limited-edition exhibition catalogue designed by Pentagram, featuring a scholarly essay about Olivier’s new work along with full-color photographs by acclaimed photographer James Ewing.  The publication will mark the first time Mad. Sq. Art has documented a moving-image project with a printed catalogue.

About the Artist:

Dutch artist Jacco Olivier (b. 1972) studied at the Rijksakademie, and lives and works in Amsterdam.  In 2010 he had solo exhibitions at the Centro de Arte de Caja de Burgos, Spain, and at the Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston, Texas. He was included in exhibitions at the MCA Denver (2006), ZKM, Museum fur Neue Kunst & Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe (2007) and in the 8th SITE Santa Fe Biennial: The Dissolve, curated by Daniel Belasco and Sarah Lewis (2010). In 2012, Olivier will participate in a residency program at Artspace in San Antonio, Texas. Jacco Olivier is represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin; and Parra & Romero Galeria de Arte, Madrid; and Ron Mandos Gallery in Amsterdam.  His exhibition in Madison Square Park is Olivier’s New York public art debut.

Mad. Sq. Art and Madison Square Park Conservancy:

Mad. Sq. Art is the free, contemporary art program of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Major Support for Mad. Sq. Art is provided by Liane Ginsberg, Agnes Gund, Jennifer and Matthew Harris, Toby Devan Lewis, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Irving Harris Foundation and Anonymous. Substantial support is provided by Raymond Learsy and Melva Bucksbaum, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Melissa S. Meyer, Ronald A. Pizzuti, The Rudin Family, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, Leslie and Howard Zemsky, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust and the Sol LeWitt Fund for Artist Work.

Major Support for the Jacco Olivier exhibition is provided by the Mondriaan Foundation.  This program is supported, in part, by the Netherlands Cultural Services. Substantial support is provided by Marianne Boesky Gallery, NYC & Co., and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.  Delta Air Lines is the official airline of Mad. Sq. Art.  Mad. Sq. Art is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Since its inception in 2004, Mad. Sq. Art has commissioned and presented twenty premier installations in Madison Square Park by acclaimed artists ranging in practice and media. Mad. Sq. Art has exhibited  works by artists including Bill Beirne Jim Campbell, Richard Deacon, Bill Fontana, Ernie Gehr, Antony Gormley, Jene Highstein, Tadashi Kawamata, Mel Kendrick, Sol LeWitt, Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Roxy Paine, Jaume Plensa, Shannon Plumb, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Jessica Stockholder, Mark di Suvero, and William Wegman, among others.

In March 2011, Mad. Sq. Art received the International Art Critics Association (AICA-USA)’s 2010 Second Place award for “Best Project in a Public Space” for the organization’s exhibition of Antony Gormley: Event Horizon, which featured 31 sculptures of the human form placed in and around Madison Square Park and on the rooftops of architectural treasures throughout New York City’s Flatiron District and environs.  In Spring 2011, Mad. Sq. Art presented the New York City public art debut of acclaimed Spanish artist Jaume Plensa with the premiere of Echo, a towering 44-foot-tall sculpture of the face of a young girl in dream state. Most recently, Mad. Sq. Art. premiered Alison Saar’s Feallan and Fallow, a six piece installation featuring four newly commissioned works by the Los Angeles-based artist.  Feallan and Fallow will remain on view through December 31, 2011 and will coincide with the premiere of Jacco Olivier’s exhibition.

The Madison Square Park Conservancy, a public/private partnership with New York City Parks & Recreation, is the nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping historic Madison Square Park a bright, beautiful and lively public space.

For more information on the Madison Square Park Conservancy and its programs, please visit

*Image credit: Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York / Madison Square Park Conservancy

MEDIA CONTACT: FITZ & CO,Concetta Duncan, Tel: 212-627-1455 x232,


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remember Jim Campbell’s Scattered Lights in Madison Square Park last year?

Well, Jim Campbell is working on a new piece that’s even larger.

Read Gizmodo’s article about the new piece, Exploded Views

Monday, November 7, 2011

MSP Impacts Public Art

Sarah Douglas from the The Art Newspaper shares the chronological progression and popularity of outdoor art in her article The Outsiders.

The Art Newspaper

“The Outsiders,” by Sarah Douglas

November 2011

One of those is Madison Square Park, in Midtown, an example of how edgy public art has contributed to urban renewal. Debbie Landau, head of the conservancy, which runs the public art programme, has been with the park since 1996. Its first art project was Tony Oursler’s The Influence Machine in 2000 in collaboration with the Public Art Fund; a $1m grant from Target stores brought more art in 2001. In 2002, the conservancy became a registered non-profit with part or its mission to bring in art projects. Again, the lion’s share of its funding comes from private sources.

The conservancy’s first major project was an installation by Mark di Suvero in 2004. By 2007, the park was undertaking its current four projects a year. In 2010, Antony Gromley’s Event Horizon figures populated the ground and surrounding rooftops; a huge sculpture of a head by Jaume Plensa dominated the park over the summer. Currently installed are figurative works by Alison Saar.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Q and A with Alison Saar in Whitewall Magazine

Twyla Shelmire from Whitewall Magazine sits down with Mad. Sq. Art’s latest artist Alison Saar to discuss her newest installation “Feallan and Fallow”.

Whitewall Magazine

Alison Saar: Feallan and Fallow” by Twyla Shelmire

October 17, 2011

Alison Saar’s installation, “Feallan and Fallow” may be seen daily in Madison Square Park now through December 31. Four new works, commissioned by the Mad. Sq. Art Program are on display along with two of Saar’s earlier sculptures, “Treesouls” (1994). The new commission represents the four seasons as women evolving through different stages of their life – spring as an adolescent girl, summer as a pregnant woman, fall as a woman in harvest, and winter as a woman resting and renewing herself. “Feallan and Fallow” was inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Persephone, a young goddess abducted by Hades, God of the Underworld. This tale that removes daughter from mother consequently creates the cycle of seasons. Saar answered a few of our questions this fall about her installation, unearthing the personal experience behind the works as well as intrigue of the public realm.