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See the Diminutive Sculptures From the High Line’s First Group Show, “Lilliput”

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New York’s High Line park recently opened the first group exhibition of newly commissioned works installed atop the elevated greenway, “Lilliput,” which features works by an international slate of six artists and will be on view through April 14, 2013. We recently took a stroll through the park to see whether we’d be able to spot all the small-scale public sculptures.

The works by Erika Verzutti may be the exhibition’s least conspicuous, their elongated concrete forms blending in somewhat with the folliage under the “flyover” between 27th and 25th streets.

Though apparently intended to evoke stylized dinosaurs, the four Verzutti pieces on view more readily suggest strange ancient vases, mysterious pagan totems, odd fruit trees, and Brancusi’s “Endless Column.”

At the park’s northernmost end, Oliver Laric’s “Sun Tzu Janus” (2012) is very badly camouflaged — though it would blend right in at most major sporting events. The brightly striped bust of the “Art of War” author is the piece that draws most overtly on a classical sculptural genre.

At 23rd Street, Allyson Vieira’s “Construction (Rampart)” (2012) is a bronze cast of a stack of paper cups, which are slowly filling with water and cast off bits of plants. Miraculously, nobody has discarded their paper cup on this sculpture — yet.

A somewhat more conventional bronze sculpture, Francis Upritchard’s “The Seduction” (2012) shows two monkeys frozen in an apparent gesture of recognition. The playful little primates invite viewers to construct narratives to explain this gesture, despite its ambiguity.

At 14th Street, Tomoaki Suzuki’s tiny hipster “Carson” (2012) is the exhibition’s most overtly Swiftian sculpture.

With his boots, skinny jeans, and leather jacket, “Carson” is the least threatening gentrifier ever to set foot in the Meatpacking District.

Near the park’s southernmost end, at Little West 12th Street, Los Angeles-based Italian artist Alessandro Pessoli’s strange winter-hat wearing figure seems both comic and melancholy, something between a scarecrow and a marionette.

By far the exhibition’s most unsettling work, it should serve as terrific incentive for park-goers making their way north to keep their eyes peeled for the “Lilliput” sculptures.

— Benjamin Sutton

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  1. I am interested to know how you chose the particular artists who produced these sculptures and what others’ responses are to them? It seems like there was so much opportunity here. Were the artists paid for these? Do you have a committee that reviews sample work before a selection is made, or were these a surprise? Just wondering. Thanks.

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