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Tag Archives: Public
The scope of public art
Monuments, memorials and civic statuary are perhaps the oldest and most obvious form of officially sanctioned public art, although it could be said that architectural sculpture and even architecture itself is more widespread and fulfills the definition of public art. Increasingly most aspects of the built environment are seen as legitimate candidates for consideration as, or location for, public art, including, street furniture, lighting and graffiti. Public art is not confined to physical objects; dance, procession, street theatre even poetry have proponents that specialize in public art.
La Joute by Jean-Paul Riopelle, an outdoor kinetic sculpture installation with fire jets, fog machines, and a fountain in Montreal.
Sculpture intended as public art is often constructed of durable, easily cared-for material, to avoid the worst effects of the elements and vandalism; however, many works are intended to have only a temporary existence and are made of more ephemeral materials.
Permanent works are sometimes integrated with architecture and landscaping in the creation or renovation of buildings and sites,an especially important example being the programme developed in the new city of Milton Keynes, England.
Some artists working in this discipline use the freedom afforded by an outdoor site to create very large works that would be unfeasible in a gallery, for instance Richard Long’s three week walk, entitled “The Path Is the Place in the Line”. Amongst the works of the last thirty years that have met greatest critical and popular acclaim are pieces by Christo, Robert Smithson, Andy Goldsworthy, and Anthony Gormley where the artwork reacts to or incorporates its environment.
Artists making Public art range from the greatest masters such as Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso, and Joan Mir, to those who specialize in public art such as Claes Oldenburg and Pierre Granche, to anonymous artists who make surreptitious interventions.
Public fountain sculpture that is also a musical instrument (hydraulophone), which any member of the public can play at any time of the day or night.
Interactive public art
Some forms of public art are designed to encourage audience participation in a hands-on way. Examples include public art installed at hands-on science museums such as the main architectural centerpiece out in front of the Ontario Science Centre. This permanently installed artwork is a fountain that is also a musical instrument (hydraulophone) that members of the public can play at any time of the day or night. Members of the public interact with the work by blocking water jets to force water through various sound-producing mechanisms inside the sculpture.