October 16, 2009 - Public Art Fund - Peter Coffin at City Hall Park
October 16, 2009

Peter Coffin at City Hall Park

Peter Coffin. From left:
Sculpture Silhouette (Moai Easter Island Head, circa 1250-1500), 2009.
Sculpture Silhouette (N. de St. Phalle, Snake Tree, 1984-1987), 2009.
Sculpture Silhouette (P. Picasso, She Goat, 1950), 2009.
Photo: James Ewing. Source images courtesy of © NIKI CHARITABLE ART FOUNDATION, all rights reserved. © Picasso Administration. 

Peter Coffin
Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes)

On view through May 2010

City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan


Populating City Hall Park with 13 monumental silhouettes of iconic works of art, Peter Coffin’s Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes) takes us on a journey through the history of sculpture. This idiosyncratic sculptural survey creates an environment in which variations on seminal artworks are experienced in a new and unexpected context. Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker, Pablo Picasso’s She Goat, one of Sol LeWitt’s Incomplete Open Cubes, and Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk, among others, hover like apparitions throughout the Park. Ranging in size from eight to ten feet tall, their commanding sculptural presence is somewhat of an illusion; each work is only one inch thick. The sculptures slip in and out of view, similar to the way in which memories slip in and out of one’s mind. In transforming famous works of art into flattened silhouettes, Coffin invites us to reflect and expand upon the associations evoked by each form.

In the lobby of City Hall, miniature versions of each Sculpture Silhouette are installed on a single pedestal. Made of mirrored stainless steel, the maquettes reflect one another and provide an index to the large format sculptures outside.

Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes) is free and open to the public, although reservations are required for tours inside City Hall and can be made by calling 311 or visiting www.nyc.gov

Location and Directions
City Hall Park is located in Lower Manhattan, and is bordered by Broadway, Chambers Street, Centre Street, and Park Row.
Subways: A, C, E to Chambers Street; 4, 5, 6, J, M, Z to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall; N, R to City Hall; 2, 3 to Park Place.

About Peter Coffin
Peter Coffin was born in 1972 in Berkeley, California; he lives and works in New York City. Playfully giving substance to the invisible and sometimes impossible, Coffin’s work invokes art history, fringe and pseudo science, social psychology, and epistemology to explore interpretation and perception. The artist’s previous projects include constructing and flying a U.F.O. over the Baltic Sea and south-east coast of Brazil, transforming a greenhouse into a “music for plants” performance space, and designing an elaborate machine that transports a single helium balloon along what could be its own, wind-driven natural course. Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes) is Coffin’s first major outdoor exhibition in New York.

About Public Art Fund
Public Art Fund is New York’s leading presenter of artists’ projects, new commissions, installations, and exhibitions in public spaces. Since 1977, the Public Art Fund has worked with over 500 emerging and established artists to produce innovative exhibitions of contemporary art throughout New York City. By bringing artworks outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, the Public Art Fund provides a unique platform for an unparalleled public encounter with the art of our time.

Become a fan of the Public Art Fund on Facebook!

Public Art Fund is a non-profit art organization supported by generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations, and with funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes) by Peter Coffin is a part of the Public Art Fund program In the Public Realm, which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Untitled (Sculpture Silhouettes) is presented with the support of the September 11th Fund. The September 11th Fund was created by the New York Community Trust and the United Way.

This installation is made possible through the cooperation of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe; and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin.

Artworks courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris; and Herald St, London.

Media contact:
Gabby Fisher

Public Art Fund
Share - Peter Coffin at City Hall Park
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York