Step Into MoMA’s Sculpture Garden to View ‘YOU ARE HERE*’ ~ Contemporary Art in the Garden




Pierre Huyghe’s Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) (2012), a sculpture incorporating a live bee colony.

A new installation enlivens the Sculpture Garden with contemporary art that breaks convention. Nearly all of the works on view were made in the last 20 years. Highlights include Wangechi Mutu’s Mama Ray (2020), a half-woman, half-manta ray figure that references mythologies of the Black Atlantic, where many enslaved Black people lost their lives; Jimmie Durham’s YOU ARE HERE*(2020), a poetic rendering of Midtown Manhattan that gives the exhibition its name; Nairy Baghramian’s Reclining (Pauline) (2023), a resolutely abstract work, completed just this spring, with seemingly supple forms that evoke the softness of the human body;

Pierre Huyghe’s Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) (2012), a sculpture incorporating a live bee colony.

and Pierre Huyghe’s Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) (2012), a sculpture incorporating a live bee colony. Not bound to a dominant style or shared attitude, these works reflect the many interests unique to their makers, whose personal histories, geographies, and cultures are as varied as the world we inhabit.

Wangechi Mutu’s Mama Ray (2020). Image via MoMA.

The 21st-century works on view enter into a dialogue with the Garden’s perennial favorites—the Backs of Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso’s She Goat, and Aristide Maillol’s fallen female figure, The River—in a way that underscores the importance of conversations across time and of understanding the art of the past in the present moment.

Pablo Picasso, She-Goat, Vallauris, 1950 (cast 1952)

Since its opening in 1939, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden has been one of New York City’s most beloved green spaces. It was conceived as an outdoor gallery for changing installations that would bring nature, architecture, and art together in a new way. In 1953, the Sculpture Garden was redesigned as a “roofless room,” with four distinct, marble-paved areas for displaying sculpture along with fountain pools, trees, and seasonal plantings. Over the years, the Sculpture Garden found other uses—exhibitions, performances, even protests—that reflect the Museum’s experimental nature. In this spirit, YOU ARE HERE* Contemporary Art in the Garden celebrates the art of our time.

Jimmie Durham’s YOU ARE HERE*. Image via MoMA.

Please note: The Sculpture Garden contains an artwork with a living beehive, located in the center tree bed. Be aware of the bees’ presence and take caution near the sculpture. Visitors entering the Sculpture Garden do so at their own risk.

Aristide Mail’s fallen female figure, The River.

Organized by Cara Manes and Paulina Pobocha, Associate Curators, with Lydia Mullin, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

Pierre Huyghe’s Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) (2012), a sculpture incorporating a live bee colony. Untilled consists of a cast concrete sculpture of a reclining woman and a living beehive that serves as her head, and, by extension, her brain. The collective thought processes of bees – their “hive mentality” – has long been studied in relation to human political and social organization.
This sculpture explores these affinities and emphasizes the ancient, symbiotic relationship between humans and honeybees, which, in building their hive, take part in the creation of the sculpture.

Beekeeping services for this installation provided by Andrew Coté of Andrew’s Honey.

YOU ARE HERE* is located in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street, NYC.