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Madison Square Park Conservancy to Receive Prestigious U.S. Art Critics Association Award
Antony Gormley, EVENT HORIZON, 2007, 27 fiberglass and 4 cast iron figures, Each 189 x 53 x 29 cm, Photograph by James Ewing, © The Artist, A Hayward Gallery Commission, Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and White Cube, London, Event Horizon New York presented by Madison Square Park Conservancy.

NEW YORK, NY.- Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art, will receive the International Art Critics Association (AICA-USA) Second Place award for Best Project in a Public Space for the organization’s exhibition Antony Gormley: Event Horizon, which was presented in and around Madison Square Park from March 23 – August 15, 2010 in New York City. The award will be presented at an event at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art on March 14, 2011.

Event Horizon marked the United States public art debut of renowned British sculptor Antony Gormley, as well as the first time Mad. Sq. Art had exhibited public artwork outside the park’s boundaries. In the exhibition, thirty-one life-size body forms of the artist fabricated in cast iron and molded fiberglass were installed on park pathways, surrounding sidewalks, and the rooftops and setbacks of iconic buildings surrounding Madison Square Park and stretching from Union Square to the Empire State Building.

Debbie Landau, President of Madison Square Park Conservancy comments, “We are so honored to join the ranks of such prestigious institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in receiving AICA–USA’s award. We share this honor with Antony Gormley, an artist of such extraordinary vision that he caused everyday New Yorkers to stop, look around them and experience New York and its architectural treasures and skyline in a totally new way. On behalf of our Board of Directors, and the artist, we thank AICA for this distinguished honor.”

The AICA-USA award for Event Horizon is the first such honor received by Mad. Sq. Art, the contemporary public art program of the non-profit Madison Square Park Conservancy. Since 2004, Mad. Sq. Art has made contemporary art freely available to the public, by a roster of artists including Mark di Suvero, Sol LeWitt, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Roxy Paine, William Wegman, Richard Deacon, Tadashi Kawamata, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Jessica Stockholder and Jim Campbell, among many others. From May 5 – August 14, 2011, Mad. Sq. Art will present Echo, the New York City public art debut of acclaimed Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa.

Event Horizon was originally created as part of Gormley’s Blind Light exhibition at London’s Hayward Gallery in 2007. In that exhibition, Gormley’s sculptures were installed on bridges, sidewalks and rooftops along the South Bank of the Thames River. Gormley chose Manhattan’s historic Madison Square Park as the central site of his adaptation of that body of work due to the wealth of architectural treasures bordering the park and in the surrounding Flatiron District, including Daniel Burnham’s The Flatiron Building, Cass Gilbert’s New York Life Building, the Met Life Clock Tower, and 200 Fifth Avenue (formerly known as The Toy Building).

At the time, Event Horizon was Mad. Sq. Art’s most ambitious exhibition to date; it was seen by an audience of millions and received press coverage worldwide. In September 2010, Mad. Sq. Art released a documentary catalogue featuring an original short story by Booker Prize-nominated author Colm Tóibín and contributions from notable New Yorkers including Director Emeritus of the Walker Art Center and Madison Square Park Conservancy Curatorial Advisor Martin Friedman, acclaimed architects Deborah Berke and Hugh Hardy, renowned restaurateur and Madison Square Park Conservancy Board Member Danny Meyer, celebrated graphic designer Paula Scher, and New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

The twenty six winners of the 2010 AICA-USA awards were chosen from a group of over one hundred finalists, and include exhibitions focusing on Marina Abramović, Tino Seghal and Cai Guo-Qiang, the mid 20th century artists Arshile Gorky and Yves Klein and the 19th-century and early 20th century masters Henri Matisse, Otto Dix and Claude Monet, as well as thematic exhibitions dealing with the presence of women artists in pop art, history of performance art, and the Bauhaus. Mad. Sq. Art and the Madison Square Park Conservancy will join a list of AICA award-winning institutions that includes the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Drawing Center, New York; the Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.

Mad. Sq. Art’s exhibition of Antony Gormley: Event Horizon was made possible by the leadership and generous support of many exhibition partners and sponsors. Major Support for Event Horizon was provided by Charina Endowment Fund, Jennifer and Matthew Harris, the Irving Harris Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis, Audrey and Danny Meyer, the Island Fund at the New York Community Trust, Sorgente Group, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, The Wall Street Journal, Sean Kelly Gallery and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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