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Avant Garde Animation to Take Over Madison Square Park

By Mary Johnson | November 30, 2011 7:05am

FLATIRON — Madison Square Park is well-known for its sculptures, playing host to everything from a giant, glowing head to a Civil War hero. But starting Dec. 15, the Madison Square Park Conservancy is throwing a different medium into the mix: animation.

Mad. Sq. Art, the conservancy’s curatorial arm, has announced that it will host an outdoor exhibition of six animations from Dutch artist Jacco Olivier.

This exhibit, which will combine new, site-specific pieces with works from the artist’s existing catalogue, marks Olivier’s first public art commission in New York City, according to the conservancy’s website.

Olivier’s animations begin with a single painted image. The artist then continues to change the picture by painting over the same image again and again. At each stage of the process, Olivier photographs the image and compiles those images into short, animated videos that resemble moving paintings.

In Madison Square Park, those animations will be embedded into the landscape or suspended from trees and branches.  

"The subtle yet engaging quality of his animations will infuse an appreciated energy into the park during the winter months ahead, drawing connections between scenes of natural landscape in his beautiful, painterly animations and the natural life of the park," said Debbie Landau, president of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, in a statement.

Olivier, who is represented by the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, added that the exhibition gave him "an opportunity to go totally abstract and see things on a molecular level, to change perspective."

The exhibit will be on display daily in Madison Square Park, from Dec. 15 to Mar. 12, 2012.