BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | The Park Ave. Malls in the 50s blocks will be filled with interesting art — some of it gently shifting in the breeze — for three months starting later this summer, when the Parks Department honors two prolific, legendary American sculptors with installations.
The work of Alex Katz and George Rickey will be displayed along the malls from mid-August through mid-November.
Seven pieces on the planted medians between 50th and 57th Sts. will be 8-foot-tall replicas of Katz’s 2019 “cutout” sculpture “Departure (Ada),” a colorful porcelain enamel-and-steel image of his wife and longtime model Ada walking away.
In addition, a total of nine kinetic sculptures by Rickey will grace the malls between 52nd and 56th Sts. Rickey is regarded as one of the most inventive and influential sculptors of the 20th century, with a career spanning seven decades. Many of his sculptures are forms created with lines and simple shapes, like rectangles, trapezoids and cubes in stainless steel, and are designed to move when hit by air currents.
The pieces on the malls will be stainless-steel replicas of sculptures created at different points throughout Rickey’s career and will range from 13 feet to 36 feet tall.
This is not the first time the city has honored Ricky. In 2000, his work was featured on Park Ave. as the inaugural temporary public art installation by the Fund for Park Avenue’s Sculpture Advisory Committee.