Liv and Rob

The Highline NYC in art & installations: Winter 2016

The Highline NYC in art & installations: Winter 2016

We live very close to the Highline. As such, we tend to get a teensy bit very over the visitors, tourists or really any generally slow-walking-people who seem to enjoy to (trying to be polite) take their time clogging it up with their annoying slow walking… was that polite???

Anyway! Good news is, winter is an amazing time on the Highline because no one is there. Like, no one is on the Highline at this time of year - except maybe some joggers and a few very sturdy Scandinavians (you can actually jog on the Highline at this time of year, whereas every other season it’s just a lot of running up and down on the spot and shooing away lovely but-not-so-lovely buddhist sprukers).



In case you don’t know about the Highline, it’s an urban park built on the old disused NY railroad spur that once connected the southern ports with the Chelsea warehouses. Throughout the year the Friends of the Highline maintain the park and it’s lovely to see the urban ecosystem change with the seasons. In fact the Highline seems to be ever-changing. Even the art - a series of billboards, street art and installations - is swapped out regularly.



Here are some shots Liv took this weekend of the gorgeous Panorama open air exhibition. Panorama runs the 1.47 mile length of the park, with public works by Damián Ortega (Mexican), Andro Wekua (Georgian), and Michael Elmgreen (Danish) & Ingar Dragset (Norwegian), and Mariana Castillo Deball (Mexican) - ends March 2016. We’ve also included a fave piece by Spencer Finch and another by gorgeous young artist Rashid Johnson at Little West 12th.

Damián Ortega

Ortega models his metal sculptures on found graffiti tags, positioned to superimpose the city scape. And are we imagining things, or do they move around? It seems like there was once one facing the Hudson?? Was it this one?


In these shots you can see the beautiful old Highline Hotel, 1863 refurbished red-brick dormitory - in the background to the left.



Andro Wekua

Wekua explores concepts of home psychology through the interposing of reconstructed pieces from his hometown of Tbilisi, Georgia. This 6ft high reconstruction of a window from his childhood is designed to explore the way landscape evokes memories of home.


Some shots of this section of the Highline… see how there’s no people!! What fun

Love a Tortoise



Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset

This duo collaborated to produce an installation of a non-operational telescope at 10th street. The piece draws attention to this perfect view of the Statue of Liberty view from this section of the Highline.

Elmgreen and Dragset

It’s easy to miss her, and she’s often overlooked. Here are some attempts included at getting Lady Liberty in shot!



Spencer Finch’s The River that Flows Both Ways

This is Liv’s number one fave piece on the Highline. It’s so visceral - so much so that it’s really hidden as a piece of art, and more obvious as just another beautiful part of this fascinating industrial landscape. The colours in the panes change depending on the light, and your perspective.



The colours in the 700 laminated glass panels with film layer, are inspired by the Hudson River. The title of the piece is a translation of Muhheakantuck, the native American name for the Hudson that reflects the river’s natural two directional flow. The river and the Highline have always been linked geographically, obviously, but also in function, as methods of transportation of goods. This isn’t really technically part of the exhibition - guess it’s the closest the Highline gets to a “permanent collection”.




Some shots of this gorgeous section of the Highline…


Mariana Castillo Deball

This piece, with its three stacked ceramic columns, is another fave in the Panorama exhibition. There is something really beautifully peaceful about these collums (especially at this time of year. Again, so quiet Highline!!)




Each column is inspired by conversations with traditional Atzompa potters in Oaxaca, Mexico and tells a different fictional tale.






Rashid Johnson’s Blocks

This piece is also not part of the Panorama exhibition, but a special Highline commission. In his art, Johnson explores race and community through sculpture. In Blocks the shea butter busts are positioned in a living greenhouse breaking the mold of the block structure, in a reflection of African American culture.




These commissions are so much about exploring the way landscape changes, and how art and reflection change within that landscape. It’s cool to see this piece in the depths of (a not-so-cold, actually) winter where the plantlife leaves it exposed, as opposed to spring and summer when it’s surrounded by green, life, and protected.









And that brings us to the end of the Highline at Gansvoort Street and the Diller - von Furstenberg Building.


We started at 20th, so there are quite a few pieces we didn’t mention that are part of Panorama, further north, as well as permanent commissions. All the more reason to check it out for yourself - but remember to make sure you go early in the morning! Or at other undesirable times (pre-brunch is perfect!) because, you know, people.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Happy travelling!
Love Liv and Rob xx

Olivia Jones

Liv and Rob are two possums living in the US. We like music, and soccer, and some other things. Enjoy our blog. <3 us