Sculptor and Artist Joseph La Piana Unveils His Park Avenue Sculptures -

To be followed by a conversation and reception celebrating the work

Join us at 6PM promptly as we walk to one of the newly installed sculptures on Park Avenue (on 53rd or 57th) with the artist himself, Joseph La Piana!

The Fund for Park Avenue’s Sculpture Advisory Committee together with NYC Parks recently unveiled artist Joseph La Piana’s “Tension Sculptures” – a series of five sculptures of varying dimensions that bring together La Piana’s conceptual heredity and interest in activating passive materiality. Located on the meridians of Park Avenue, beginning at 53rd Street and continuing to 70th Street, the installation is on view through July 2019.

Celebrated for his paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs, La Piana draws on the continued relationship connecting the genealogy in his work. Like DNA, the artist pulls from the origin of objects, pairing them together with new elements and material, essentially developing a new identity, function and purpose. With “Tension Sculptures”, the rigid, linear nature of La Piana’s ongoing “Tension Paintings” series exploring the boundaries of tensile strength is translated into three dimensions, comprising monochromatic yellow rubber stretched between and wrapped around stainless steel armatures, akin to a cats-cradle. The sculptures’ need to remain in a constant state of tension is essential to their physical composition, and as a result the artist refers to them as “living sculptures”.

Yet, the “Tension Sculptures” extend the conceptual dialogue that has come to define La Piana’s ongoing body of work. The artist finds parallels between the sculptures and the current experiences of individuals on a global, social scale. Every day, tensions are promulgated by conflicts—whether political, social, environmental, or interpersonal. Tension is a powerful force: it is a source of internal and external agonism that brings to the forefront the countervailing pressures placed on our collective identities in the face of growing dissonance. La Piana’s sculptures, stretched to their capacity, echo this state of cultural and emotional disruption.

La Piana’s monumental sculptures range from roughly 12 to 16 feet in height, 12 to 22 feet in length, and 10 to 12 feet in depth. The enormity of Tension Sculptures gives the viewer the opportunity to observe the power of energetic strain that exists as these vibrant artworks cohabitate with flora that that have been part of Park Avenue’s history for decades. The five sculptures within the series are located at the north corners of the cross streets: Park Avenue and East 53rd Street, Park Avenue and East 57th Street, Park Avenue and East 60th Street, Park Avenue and East 67th Street, and Park Avenue and E 70th Street.

Tension Sculptures are on view to the public from March 4, 2019 through July 2019.

The Program: After seeing the sculptures, we will walk back to CORE: for a conversation and Q&A with the artist. The program concludes with a reception on 2nd Floor as a part of the CORE:'s Wednesday Night Social!

About Joseph La Piana:
Joseph La Piana (b.1966) is a visual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. La Piana works with multi-media sculpture, painting, drawing, and photography. He is a dedicated philanthropist, supporting and donating works to organizations such as: The Center (LGBT Community Center NYC), Coalition for the Homeless, CITYarts Inc., and Lamba Legal. Work by the artist has been presented worldwide, including: The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut; Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York; The Watermill Center, Watermill, New York, Dia Center, New York, New York; The Whitney Museum, New York, New York; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York; Long House Museum, East Hampton, New York.

About Barbara McLaughlin:
Barbara McLaughlin is the President of The Fund for Park Avenue, the non-profit organization responsible for planting, lighting and maintaining the trees and flowers on the Park Avenue Malls through its two privately funded programs – the Park Avenue Planting Project and the Park Avenue Tree Lighting. She is an Ex-officio member of The Fund’s Sculpture Advisory Committee which works closely with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program to present artwork for temporary public display on the avenue.
Prior to joining The Fund for Park Avenue, Barbara held senior positions at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Christie’s.

About NYC Parks:
For over 50 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has brought contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks, making New York City one of the world’s largest open-air galleries. The agency has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with arts organizations and artists to produce over 2,000 public artworks by 1,300 notable and emerging artists in over 200 parks.

About The Fund for Park Avenue:
The Fund for Park Avenue relies solely on contributions from the community to plant, light and maintain the trees and flowers on the Park Avenue Malls. The Fund’s Sculpture Advisory Committee was formed in 2000 to recommend artwork for temporary display on the Park Avenue Malls.

Sculpture Locations:
Park Avenue and East 53rd Street
Park Avenue and East 57th Street
Park Avenue and East 60th Street
Park Avenue and East 67th Street
Park Avenue and East 70th Street