Washington Square News

Hidden art along High Line

By Bryna Shuman, Staff Writer

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The High Line, an elevated park built on a set of old railroad tracks above in lower Manhattan, is famous for its natural beauty and spectacular views of the city. However, not many visitors know that the High Line also boasts an impressive collection of art. Scattered throughout the High Line, some more hidden than others, are a number of interesting art installations designed by international artists. Follow this guide to discover some of these hidden gems.

Enter at the Gansevoort Street entrance

Begin walking along the path heading uptown. As you pass through a small tunnel of trees, you will see a bronze sculpture designed by Alessandro Pessoli on your left. This 9-foot tall figure titled “Lilliput: Old Singer with Blossoms” depicts a bronze face with a colorful knitted cap and a large strand of knitted blossoms. The bright colors of the cap make this sculpture easy to spot among the dense, green foliage.

12th Street

Continue on the path and you encounter a larger sculpture on your right. Designed by Thomas Houseago and titled “Lying Figure” this sculpture depicts just that: a bronze human lying in between the original railroad tracks. At first glance, the sculpture looks more like a hump than a human figure. Many of the gorgeous flowers have grown over the face and torso, leaving only the knees clearly visible.

20th Street

The 20th Street entrance presents a more uniquely hidden piece of art. Go up to the small bridge, as if you were going to exit the High Line, and look down. On the top level of the vertical parking garage is an old pickup truck designed by Virginia Overton. The bed of the truck is filled in with bricks, and the back windshield also features an interesting image.

21st Street

On Nov. 21, the High Line opened “Broken Bridge II,” a large sculpture near the park’s western wall. While the sculpture may not be so hidden, at 37 feet high and 157 feet wide, it is sure to surprise visitors who view it from the High Line or look up at it from the street below. “Broken Bridge II,” the largest outdoor installation by artist El Anatsui, is composted of recycled materials found near the artist’s home in Nigeria.

23rd Street

Near the 23rd Street entrance is a small bronze sculpture of two embracing monkeys titled “Lilliput: The Seduction.” While the monkeys, designed by Francis Upritchard, are perched in the open on a corner of a long set of benches, their miniature size makes them small enough to go unnoticed.

Exit at 23rd Street or continue along the path to discover your own hidden gems.

Bryna Shuman is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]

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About the Writer
Bryna Shuman, Editor-at-Large
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