Now open: Sam Moyer's monumental sculptural installation at Central Park
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Now open: Sam Moyer's monumental sculptural installation at Central Park
Sam Moyer, Doors for Doris, 2020. Bluestone, poured concrete, assorted marble, and steel. Presented by Public Art Fund at Doris C. Freedman Plaza, September 16, 2020—September 12, 2021. Courtesy Sam Moyer Studio and Sean Kelly, New York. Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY.

NEW YORK, NY.- Public Art Fund is presenting Doors for Doris, Sam Moyer’s new commission that brings a massive three-part sculpture to the entrance of Central Park at Doris C. Freedman Plaza. Creating a gateway that poetically bridges the architecture of the city and the natural landscape of the park, Moyer investigates the origin and utility of different stones and how they manifest throughout New York City's built environment. For her largest public commission to date, Moyer has constructed three oversized doors that stand ajar, inviting the public to pass through upon entering or exiting the park. Each panel consists of a double-sided composition made of marble remnants that Moyer collected from around the city and inlaid into poured concrete. The stones carry a multilayered history; imported from around the world and then discarded from various architectural projects, they show the marks of their physical journey. The resulting six unique arrangements are framed by giant slabs of Bluestone, a rock indigenous to New York. Doors for Doris emphasizes the character of New York City through the intersection of local and international stone, while creating a new entryway to Central Park. Doors for Doris is the New York City-based artist’s first solo public art installation and is on view from September 16, 2020 through September 12, 2021 at Doris C. Freedman Plaza.

“Doris C. Freedman Plaza is a threshold between the buzzing energy of the city and the natural landscapes of Central Park, both inspiring constructed spaces on opposing ends of the architectural spectrum. In making Doors for Doris, I explored the marriage of these two elements of our urban landscape, emphasizing the transition between them and how their roles in the lived New York experience are most energized at the moment of their intersection,” says artist Sam Moyer.

Moyer is known for her distinctive language of abstraction, drawing inspiration from architectural space and natural materials. Searching for, collecting, and responding to the character of stone is a significant part of her practice. To create the six mosaic compositions that intersect the roughhewn door frames, Moyer gathered castoff fragments of richly-colored stone that originated from different places across the globe. Imported from countries such as Brazil, China, India, and Italy, each bears a unique mineral composition and geological background connecting it to the land it was mined from. Each stone also contains marks from its previous industrial usage: its life as a kitchen countertop, an interior renovation, or a tabletop from a local New York City park. In her studio, Moyer carefully considered the placement of each fragment to create formal compositions. The resulting six marble mosaic patterns were then laid into poured concrete to construct the three doors.

The marble and concrete slabs are installed at an angle to suggest the movement of revolving doors, mirroring the rotating doors of the buildings across the city. Each door is framed by a towering Bluestone post-and-lintel structure. Rising up from the plaza to reflect the surrounding architecture, the gateways range in height from 11 to 15 feet and together span more than 30 feet across the plaza. Bluestone is a form of limestone that is part of the bedrock of New York, found in both the architecture and natural landscape of our city. The Bluestone cut for Doors for Doris comes from a quarry on the border of New York and Pennsylvania; the slabs carry the marks of the drills used to mine the stone and are streaked with rust colored veins from iron in the ground.

“Sam Moyer’s appreciation for stone is unparalleled,” says Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer. “She has assembled beautiful pieces of marble from all around the world and placed them so elegantly within the breathtaking local Bluestone frames. This hybrid composition sparks conversations about inclusivity, globalization, privilege, and politics at a time when that is what we need most."

Titled Doors for Doris, the three-part sculpture is an homage to Public Art Fund’s founder Doris C. Freedman (1928-1981) and marks the importance of the historic public site. A champion of democratic free access to art for all, Freedman served as New York City’s first Director of Cultural Affairs, led several organizations, and was a tireless supporter of art and urban space. Today, her pioneering work serves as a vital reminder of the creative spirit of New York City and public art's power to spark conversation and bring people together. Moyer's Doors for Doris embodies this vision, occupying the liminal space where the built environment of the city meets its most well-known park, blending history and culture to reflect the very plaza at which it is sited.

Sam Moyer: Doors for Doris is curated by Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer.

Sam Moyer’s works are included in prominent collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT); Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris, France); and The Aïshti Foundation (Jal El Dib, Lebanon).

Moyer’s work was included in the 2010 Public Art Fund exhibition Total Recall at MetroTech Center in Brooklyn and has been exhibited at The Drawing Center (New York, NY), The Bass Museum (Miami, FL), University of Albany Art Museum (Albany, NY), Flag Projects and The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (St. Louis, MO), LAND (Los Angeles, CA), Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm, SW), Cleopatra’s Greenpoint (Brooklyn, NY), and Société (Berlin, DE).

She also participated in Greater New York and Between Spaces at MoMA PS1. She received her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and her MFA from Yale. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

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