The Armory Show unveils large-scale sculpture installation at the US Open

August 25, 2022

Gerald Chukwuma, OGBUNIGWE. All images courtesy of Allison Joseph/USTA

An art installation of large-scale outdoor sculptures opened this week outside of the US Open tennis tournament in Queens. Created in partnership between The Armory Show and the United States Tennis Association, Armory Off-Site at the US Open includes sculptures by contemporary artists from underrepresented backgrounds. The artworks will be on display outside of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from August 23 through September 11, coinciding with the tournament and the Armory Show’s art fair at the Javits Center.

Jose Dávila, Untitled.

Carolyn Salas, Tippy Toes.

The Armory Show 2022 will be taking place at the Javits Center from September 9-11. The fair has been an essential part of NYC’s art scene since 1994 and gives a platform to the world’s leading art galleries to present their work.

The collaboration between the Armory Show and USTA represents the first time in the history of the US Open that contemporary art galleries will display sculptural work at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. USTA launched the “Be Open” campaign in 2020 to promote social justice.

“This is an exciting next step in the US Open’s continuing integration of the arts,” Nicole Kankam, managing director, Pro Tennis Marketing, USTA, said. “The ‘Be Open’ campaign has been a platform for tennis and the US Open to champion diverse creative voices, and a partnership with The Armory Show, one of New York’s long-standing cultural institutions, will only expand the US Open’s commitment to embodying those values.”

The art on display outside of the US Open includes the following pieces:

  • A new work by Gerald Chukwuma uses found objects to “examine the movement of people through voluntary and forced migration,” according to a press release. Presented by Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, the piece was inspired by the art traditions of the Igbo people from south-eastern Nigeria.
  • A concrete structure by Mexican artist Jose Dávila that challenges onlookers to question how we understand the terms “natural” and “modern.
  • A work by Indigenous artist Luzene Hill that consists of 30 to 40 depictions of metal letterpress type in the Cherokee language. Presented by K Art, the letters will be arranged to symbolize the rise and fall of indigenous languages.
  • A site-specific figure by Myles Nurse and presented by Half Gallery that displays athleticism in sculptural form.
  • A sculpture by Carolyn Salas and presented by Mrs. which “serves as a dialogue derived from ancient and art-historical cornerstones.”

Luzene Hill, To Rise and Begin Again.

Myles Nurse, Untitled.

As part of the Armory Show’s broader off-site program, now in its second year, a number of artworks will be installed at public parks and plazas throughout the five boroughs.

At Bella Abzug Park in Hudson Yards, Juan Capistrán’s sculpture Sundown will be presented by CURRO. The text-based art piece is influenced by the history of “sundown towns”—all-white neighborhoods or areas that have historically excluded non-whites by posting signs claiming that “colored people” had to leave by sundown. The sculpture juxtaposes a large greeting sign against the words “get out.”

Installed at the Flatiron Plaza will be Tomokazu Matsuyama’s Dancer presented by Kavi Gupta Gallery, a polished steel sculpture featuring steel-cut patterns that shimmer as viewers move around the piece.

Adam Parker Smith’s Ganymede with Jupiter’s Eagle sculpture will be installed at the Ruth Wittenberg Triangle in Greenwich Village. Presented by The Hole, the piece was created using 3D-modelling programs and then chiseled out of a Carrara marble block.

In Times Square, Carolina Caycedo’s Patrón Mono: Ríos Libres, Pueblos Vivos will be on view every night in September. Presented with Instituto de Visión, the work depicts the lower Cauca River canyon in Antioquia, Colombia, an area currently undergoing a critical dam failure and where armed and environmental conflict are one and the same. Every night from 11:57 p.m. to midnight, flowing water and gold shimmers will move across 90 billboards in Times Square.

“We are honored to work with our esteemed exhibitors and their extraordinary artists to provide dynamic public art installations in five distinct locations in New York City,” Nicole Berry, executive director of The Armory Show, said in a statement.

“Each installation selected for our second annual Armory Off-Site program offers a unique perspective, introducing the public to works that inspire and engage. We are also grateful for our partnership with the New York City organizations who offer their spaces as they share the fair’s commitment to introducing a broader audience to contemporary art.”


All images courtesy of Allison Joseph/USTA

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