Lampshades removed as park is set for ‘redecorating’


While Central Park had “The Gates,” a public art project by Christo, for a couple of weeks last year, Washington Square Park had “Well-Lit Chess Pieces” by artist Marjorie Kouns for almost a full year. Kouns — at right, taking down a shade by the arch — removed the lampshades in the park last Thursday and Friday. They were intended to give the park the feeling of an outdoor living room and were coupled in the public art project with sculptures of chess pieces that Kouns also created, which were placed near the chess tables area. The installation proved popular and its stay was extended three times. Saying she wanted to let the artwork “be in the hands of the people,” Kouns is holding an online auction of “Well-Lit Chess Pieces” at https://www.benefitevents.com through Sun. April 30, closing at 10 p.m. Partial proceeds will benefit The Caring Community, LREI (Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School), City Parks Foundation and the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. Below, Ameera Pearsall and Julie Johnson, her aunt, enjoyed looking at some of the brightly colored shades that had been taken down. The Parks Department plans to begin a $16 million renovation of the park in July.