Park update: The Interim Walkway at the Western Rail Yards (between 30th & 34th Streets) is temporarily closed today.

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30th Street Challenge
Give by June 20

To meet the demands of our busiest time of the year, we ask all friends of the High Line to help us raise a total of $30,000—$1,000 for each block of our 1.5-mile-long park along Manhattan’s West Side.

Photo by Timothy Schenck

Kapwani Kiwanga

On Growth

November 2023 – October 2024
Location

On the High Line at Little West 12th Street

Kapwani Kiwanga is a conceptual artist working across film, performance, sculpture, and installation. Through exhaustive research into topics including colonial history, social segregation, and marginalized stories, Kiwanga constructs artworks that tease apart power imbalances and the imperceptible nuances that comprise the aesthetics of power. Often grounding her projects in architecture and horticulture, Kiwanga has created artworks that engage a wide variety of subjects including mono-crop agriculture in Tanzania, the oil and fracking industries, ceremonies related to key moments in African independence, and historical racist lantern laws from New England and New York. In her ongoing work Flowers for Africa, Kiwanga installs fresh arrangements of cut flowers that are replicas of bouquets visible in archival images of the inauguration ceremonies of African countries.

For the High Line, Kiwanga presents On Growth, a sculpture of a fern encased in glass. The multi-faceted case is constructed from dichroic glass, which captures and transforms the light that passes through it, changing tone and color as it’s viewed from different vantage points. The work references Wardian cases, a predecessor of the terrarium, which were used to transport uprooted plants to Europe from overseas, allowing those species to continue to thrive amid London’s polluted air in the late 19th century. These enclosures resembled jewelry cases at the time and, similarly, often protected treasures from distant lands. On Growth draws on the colonial histories of institutional and commercial botanic nurseries that heavily influenced the scientific understanding of plants and horticulture of today.

Artist bio

Kapwani Kiwanga (b. 1978, Hamilton, Canada) lives and works in Paris, France. Kiwanga has presented her work in solo exhibitions at institutions around the world, including the New Museum, New York, New York (2022); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2020); Renaissance Society, Chicago, Illinois (2020); Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2020); Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2017); and South London Gallery, London, England (2015). Notable and recent group exhibitions include This is Not Africa – Unlearn What You Have Learned, ARoS AarHus Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2021); Prelude, Luma Arles, Arles, France (2021); Entangled Things, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (2020); Have you Seen A Horizon Lately, Musée d’Art Contemporain Africain Al Maaden, Marrakech, Morocco (2020); and Undefined Territories. Perspectives on Colonial Legacies, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain (2019). Kiwanga’s work has been featured in major international exhibitions including the 59th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2022); Toronto Biennial of Art, Toronto, Canada (2019); Glasgow International, Glasgow, Scotland (2018); and Lubumbashi Biennale, Lubumbashi, Republic of Congo (2016). She has been the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Prix Marcel Duchamp (2020), Frieze Artist Award (2018), and the annual Sobey Art Award (2018).


Support

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., and Charina Endowment Fund.

High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams.

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