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The second High Line Plinth commission Untitled (drone) is a large-scale fiberglass sculpture in the shape of an abstracted drone atop a 25-foot-tall steel pole that will turn with the wind. With this work, artist Sam Durant seeks to make visible the intentionally obscured drone warfare perpetuated by the US, and to remind the public that drones and surveillance are a tragic and pervasive presence in the daily lives of many living outside—and within—the United States.
The High Line Plinth is a new landmark destination for public art, designed as the focal point of the Spur, the newest section of the High Line. Unlike most of the other sections of the park where visitors are moving along thoroughfares, the Spur is conceived as a natural gathering space. The Plinth serves as an anchor at the center of this piazza, creating a dialogue with the towering skyscrapers and arresting vistas of the immediate surroundings.
As the first location on the High Line that is solely dedicated to the presentation of art, the High Line Plinth provides artists an incredible opportunity to realize new and ambitious commissions on a scale rarely seen in the public sphere in New York. Inspired by the Fourth Plinth of Trafalgar Square in London, the large scale and high visibility of the Plinth offers artists a unique platform to inspire a diverse public audience and contribute to the ever-changing conversation around contemporary art and monuments.
The inaugural High Line Plinth was initiated by an international advisory committee of 13 artists, curators, and art world professionals who each submitted recommendations of artists to invite to submit a proposal for the Plinth. Twelve proposals were then selected from the initial group of fifty. Simone Leigh’s Brick House, known as Cupboard VII in the proposal stage, and Sam Durant’s Untitled (drone), were ultimately chosen as the inaugural High Line Plinth commissions.
Maquettes now on view in the Coach Passage
See and read about the 12 shortlisted artists’ proposals for the third and fourth High Line Plinth commissions, to open in 2022 and 2024.
Learn more about the 12 shortlisted proposals for the inaugural High Line Plinth commissions, selected from an initial group of 50 in 2017.
Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and Charina Endowment Fund. Additional support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. High Line Art is supported in part, with a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson.
Major support for the High Line Plinth is provided by members of the High Line Plinth Committee and contemporary art leaders committed to realizing major commissions and engaging in the public success of the Plinth: Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, Elizabeth Belfer, Suzanne Deal Booth, Fairfax Dorn, Steve Ells, Kerianne Flynn, Andy and Christine Hall, Hermine Riegerl Heller and David B. Heller, J. Tomilson and Janine Hill, The Holly Peterson Foundation, Annie Hubbard and Harvey Schwartz, Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Amanda and Don Mullen, Douglas Oliver and Sherry Brous, Mario Palumbo and Stefan Gargiulo, Susan and Stephen Scherr, Susan and David Viniar, and Anonymous.