Lightness of Being features 11 artists whose works display a playful and irreverent attitude toward formal ideals of classical sculpture. Including new commissions and major works being shown in New York for the first time, the exhibition is at once lighthearted and engaging, incorporating a lively sense of play and wry humor. The international group of artists in the show includes Cristian Andersen, James Angus, Olaf Breuning, Daniel Buren, Evan Holloway, Alicja Kwade, Sarah Lucas, Ugo Rondinone, David Shrigley, Gary Webb, and Franz West.
Daniel Buren’s Suncatcher, a kaleidoscopic, pergola-like installation that casts colored light onto anything below it if the sun’s hitting it right, and Olaf Breuning’s The Humans, a humorous and lovable sextet of sculptures that roughly depict the artist’s view of human evolution, starting with a primordial blob of a person and ending with a kind of fat cat in a tux with a bronze tail. Just beyond is British artist Gary Webb’s Buzzing It Down, a totemic column of strikingly colored, gigantic shapes stacked one atop the other that is equal parts classic and totally new.
Kids will also get a kick out of Alicja Kwade’s circular bicycle, which looks as if a giant squeezed a ten-speed with its fist; Franz West’s Untitled, a set of colorful, upside-down works artfully placed on the lawn at the park’s northeastern end; and Sarah Lucas’s enormous concrete squashes, on which children are invited to play. What may startle young visitors most is the installation’s only performance art piece: Ugo Rondinone’s dog days are over, a (live) clown who does nothing but sit on bench and act in a most unclownly—read: morose—manner.