Socrates & Noguchi

by Nick Fyhrie

Today I visited the Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum in Queens - two discreet gems in the city! It got very windy and cold along the water's edge, but at least it was sunny. Socrates is dedicated to hosting an emerging artists's program every summer and exhibiting 15 artists' works in the park for the next six months every September to March since it's conception in the early 90s. The park used to be a landfill site and it was the artist Mark di Suvero (who's studio is right next to the site) who first established the site once it was reclaimed by the city in 1986. 

Entrance to Socrates Sculpture Park

Entrance to Socrates Sculpture Park

The sculptures ranged in size and material; everything from a real painted '65 Mustang with applied synthetic hair corn rows to a sculpture of the Virgin Mary that was initially covered in bird seeds and is now an eroded white armature in a soiled planter-like base.

Artist Ates Ucul petting one of the park cats by Hugh Hayden's the art car piece

Artist Ates Ucul petting one of the park cats by Hugh Hayden's the art car piece

"Quarry" by Jarrod Beck

"Quarry" by Jarrod Beck

After spending some time in the park with a tour led by the Exhibitions Program Manager, Elissa Goldstone, me and my MFA class headed by curator Amy Smith-Stewart went to The Noguchi Museum a couple blocks away. It is so unassuming and discreet, but you enter into a tranquil sanctuary filled with Noguchi's gorgeous wood, marble, and metal minimal sculptures in a brick and concrete building, surrounding a small rock garden with bamboo. It really is worth the visit. The man was a genius!

A view from the top gallery

A view from the top gallery

Some of Noguchi's biomorphic marble sculptures

Some of Noguchi's biomorphic marble sculptures