This June, Public Art Fund is set to debut PRANK, the late British artist Phyllida Barlow’s final series of large-scale freestanding sculptures, set to take over the Financial District.
The exhibition is comprised of seven steel and fiberglass sculptures that adapt everyday forms such as domestic furniture stacked in unexpected, gravity-defying compositions. The sculptures mark a notable departure from the artist’s typical use of materials suitable for indoor display.
Each piece represents a different form of what has become known as Barlow’s “rabbit ears”–a form which was first created in Barlow’s circa-1990s Objects series which consisted of “unusually shaped sculptural forms installed in relationship to familiar household items, such as the armchair, the ironing board, and the piano.”
PRANK revisits this Objects series, this time taking her “rabbit ears” from the home to an outdoor public setting.
The series displays Barlow’s signature sense of surprise, mischief, and playfulness, and invites the public to pose their own questions about work versus play, their surroundings, and art.
“With Phyllida Barlow’s characteristic ambition, rigor and irreverence, PRANK upends sculptural tradition with captivating invention,” said Public Art Fund Artistic & Executive Director Nicholas Baume.
“It feels both apt and poignant that this body of work revisits an earlier motif, adding complexity and embracing the public context. Phyllida takes her iconic ‘rabbit ears’ on a gravity-defying journey of sculptural acrobatics: scaling stairs, grasping edges, and balancing atop improbably accumulated objects to survey their City Hall Park domain,” Baume added.
PRANK will take over the Financial District beginning tomorrow, June 6 through November 26 at City Hall Park.