Artist, Sam Moyer created a new site specific installation for the Public Art Fund at the entrance to Central Park on the Doris C. Freedman Plaza. The enormous three-part sculpture creates a gateway that poetically bridges the architecture of the city and the natural landscape of the park.
Moyer investigated the origin and utility of different stones and how they manifest throughout New York City’s built environment. For her largest public commission to date, Moyer has constructed three oversized doors that stand ajar, inviting the public to pass through upon entering or exiting the park.
“Doris C. Freedman Plaza is a threshold between the buzzing energy of the city and the natural landscapes of Central Park, both inspiring constructed spaces on opposing ends of the architectural spectrum. In making Doors for Doris, I explored the marriage of these two elements of our urban landscape, emphasizing the transition between them and how their roles in the lived New York experience are most energized at the moment of their intersection,” says artist Sam Moyer.
Each panel consists of a double-sided composition made of marble remnants that Moyer collected from around the city and inlaid into poured concrete. The stones carry a multilayered history; imported from around the world and then discarded from various architectural projects, they show the marks of their physical journey. The resulting six unique arrangements are framed by giant slabs of Bluestone, a rock indigenous to New York. Doors for Doris emphasizes the character of New York City through the intersection of local and international stone, while creating a new entryway to Central Park.
The marble and concrete slabs are installed at an angle to suggest the movement of revolving doors, mirroring the rotating doors of the buildings across the city. Each door is framed by a towering Bluestone post-and-lintel structure. Rising up from the plaza to reflect the surrounding architecture, the gateways range in height from 11 to 15 feet and together span more than 30 feet across the plaza. Bluestone is a form of limestone that is part of the bedrock of New York, found in both the architecture and natural landscape of our city. The Bluestone cut for Doors for Doris comes from a quarry on the border of New York and Pennsylvania; the slabs carry the marks of the drills used to mine the stone and are streaked with rust colored veins from iron in the ground.
“Sam Moyer’s appreciation for stone is unparalleled,” says Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer. “She has assembled beautiful pieces of marble from all around the world and placed them so elegantly within the breathtaking local Bluestone frames. This hybrid composition sparks conversations about inclusivity, globalization, privilege, and politics at a time when that is what we need most.”
Titled Doors for Doris, the three-part sculpture is an homage to Public Art Fund’s founder Doris C. Freedman (1928-1981) and marks the importance of the historic public site. A champion of democratic free access to art for all, Freedman served as New York City’s first Director of Cultural Affairs, led several organizations, and was a tireless supporter of art and urban space. Today, her pioneering work serves as a vital reminder of the creative spirit of New York City and public art’s power to spark conversation and bring people together. Moyer’s Doors for Doris embodies this vision, occupying the liminal space where the built environment of the city meets its most well-known park, blending history and culture to reflect the very plaza at which it is sited.
Doors for Doris is the New York City-based artist’s first solo public art installation and will be on view from September 16, 2020 through September 12, 2021 at Doris C. Freedman Plaza.
Sam Moyer: Doors for Doris is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Special thanks to the Office of the Mayor, Manhattan Borough President, NYC Parks, and Central Park Conservancy.
Free Registration for Sam Moyer’s virtual conversation with Public Art Fund Curator, Daniel S. Palmer on October 14th. This is part of a special series entitled, Talks. Public Art Fund Talks, organized in collaboration with The Cooper Union, connect compelling contemporary artists to a broad public by establishing a dialogue about artistic practices and public art. The Talks series feature internationally renowned artists who offer insights into artmaking and its personal, social, and cultural contexts. The core values of creative expression and democratic access to culture and learning shared by both Public Art Fund and The Cooper Union are embodied in this ongoing collaboration. In the spirit of accessibility to the broadest and most diverse public, the Talks are offered free of charge.