Olaf Breuning: Clouds

Olaf Breuning: Clouds  | Events Calendar
Olaf Breuning, Clouds, 2013. Artist sketch.


Opening from

On View

Public Art Fund | Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park


March 4 – August 24, 2014
Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park (60th Street and 5th Avenue)

November 15, 2013, NEW YORK, NY—Public Art Fund announces a playful new commission by Olaf Breuning entitled Clouds to be installed at the southeast entrance to Central Park this spring. The artist’s largest public art installation in the United States to date, the work will feature six clouds rendered as childlike drawings made of polished blue aluminum towering nearly 35 feet above the plaza and mounted on seemingly makeshift steel supports. Blending reality with fiction and refined forms with a do-it-yourself aesthetic, this new work will be a whimsical addition to the Midtown Manhattan skyline. Olaf Breuning: Clouds is on view March 4 through August 24, 2014 in Doris C Freedman Plaza, Central Park.

"One of the largest works we've ever commissioned for the entrance to Central Park, Olaf Bruening's Clouds is also among the most playful. His cartoon-like tableau stands on the threshold between culture and nature, welcoming us from the city into the park, and from everyday routine into the world of imagination." said Nicholas Baume, Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator.

Breuning is known for an eclectic art practice that incorporates film, drawing, staged photography, and sculpture. Often inspired by popular culture, his work utilizes humor and visual puns to blur the line between the ordinary and the absurd. His new piece for Doris C. Freedman Plaza is the sculptural incarnation of an earlier staged photograph by the artist showing several large drawings of clouds held aloft by cranes and scissor lifts. It also expands on his series of Smoke Bomb works, in which multi-colored pigments are arranged along several levels of rough scaffolding then ignited simultaneously to create a beautiful vista of colored smoke.

“Breuning’s enormous clouds recall the set of a grade school play, transforming the familiar plaza into a surreal new space,” said Public Art Fund Associate Curator Andria Hickey, who organized the exhibition. "This work brings his long engagement with staged photography to the realm of sculpture, dramatically changing the skyline at the entrance to the park and literally bringing blue skies to this plaza every day.”

Olaf Breuning (b. 1970, Schaffhausen, Switzerland) lives and works in New York. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland (2013); Swiss Institute Contemporary Art, New York (2012); Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland (2010); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2007); Centre d’Art Contemporain Georges Pompidou, Paris (2006); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2005); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2004); and Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg, France (2003). Breuning has also been included in numerous group exhibitions such as: The Circus as a Parallel Universe, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2012); Liverpool Biennial, United Kingdom (2012); 54th Venice Biennale, Venice (2011); Whitney Biennial 2008, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); Looking At Music, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); Destroy Athens, 1st Athens Bienniale, Athens (2007); All About Laughter, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2005); Let’s Entertain, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2000), among others. Breuning is represented by Metro Pictures in New York.

Doris C. Freedman Plaza is named for the founder of the Public Art Fund and has been the site of more than 60 artist projects and commissions since 1977.
Location: southeast entrance to Central Park at the corner of 60th Street and 5th Avenue Hours: dawn to dusk, daily

Subways: N, R, Q to 5th Avenue; 4, 5, 6 to 59th Street/Lexington Avenue