A Chinese artist known for his provocative work will be installing more than 100 fences and installations around New York City as part of a commissioned exhibition that speaks to the current political climate in America.
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is returning to New York City, where he plans to install fences around 300 sites in one of his largest public art projects to date. According to the artist, Good Fences Make New Neighbors is a reaction to “a retreat from the essential attitude of openness” in American politics.
The exhibition opens on October 12 and it was commissioned by the Public Art Fund to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the organisation. All in all, the project will comprise 10 major fence-themed installations in addition to scores of smaller works.
“This is the most ambitious [exhibition] that we’ve undertaken since I’ve been here. Certainly, it’s the most distributed throughout the city,” said Nicholas Baume, the Public Art Fund’s director and chief curator. In the past, the Public Art Fund commissioned major artists like Alexander Calder and Sol LeWitt to produce thought-provoking masterpieces.
Ai Weiwei was inspired by Robert Frost’s poem Mending Wall to build the fences – and they will be located in multiple boroughs, including Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Some of the sites include Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, the Doris C Freedman Plaza, and the Cooper Union building in Manhattan.