The Next Madison Square Park Artist Will Be L.A. Sculptor Alison Saar

07/18/2011 3:30 PM |

Alison Saars Tree Souls & Stone Souls at the Brooklyn Museum in 1995.

  • Alison Saar’s “Tree Souls & Stone Souls” at the Brooklyn Museum in 1995.

While we’ve enjoyed Jaume Plensa’s big giant stretched head sculpture in Madison Square Park, its time is almost up (August 14), and with the changing of the seasons a new artist is getting ready to take over the city’s most coveted public art venue. The Times‘ Carol Vogel reports that the honor will go to Los Angeles-based Alison Saar, whose six-sculpture installation Feallen and Fallow will go up on September 22 and remain on view through December 31.

The installation’s centerpiece will be a suite of four bronze sculptures, each one featuring a stylized female figure representing a season. For a preview of what those pagan-surrealist-feminist sculptures will resemble, check out the page for her same-titled exhibition last year at LA Louver, where she showed a series of paintings based on the seasons and a smaller version of the sculpture “Fall.” Also included in the Madison Square Park installation will be the large sculpture “Tree Souls” (1994, at top), which was exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum in 1995.

This marks the second California artist to show in Madison Square Park in two years, following Jim Campbell last fall. Saar will be the first female artist to take the space since Jessica Stockholder back in 2009, and the second artist who works primarily with life-sized, figurative metal sculptures this decade—after Antony Gormley’s suicidal-seeming figures last year.

(Photo: Paul OConnor 2005, courtesy LA Louver)

  • Alison Saar (Photo: Paul O’Connor 2005, courtesy LA Louver)


One Comment

  • I think Ms. Saar’s sculptures are beautiful and I thank the conservancy at Madison Square Park for bringing her sculptures to the Flatiron district for us to enjoy. I do however have to question the placement of the above pictured Tree Souls sculpture within the park. I would think they would have placed it in the center lawn where the previous Plensa sculpture was displayed. However they have chosen to feature the towering bronze sculpture of a naked man and woman rooted to the earth directly across from and highly visible to the playground. The sculpture is tall enough to be seen above the fencing of the playground, though the art is lost to the toddlers as the only parts visible is the naked man and woman. The root system is lost beneath the fence of the playground area. Actually, let me rephrase that. One root is very visible and prominent to the children’s eyes. I will let you decide for yourself whether or not it is appropriate.