New York Ave Sculpture Project

  • Nighttime rendering of New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Betsabeé Romero; Courtesy Betsabeé Romero Art Studio
  • New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Chakaia Booker; Photo by Lee Stalsworth
  • Magdalena Abakanowicz, Walking Figures (group of 10), 2009; © Magdalena Abakanowicz, Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery, New York; Photography by Laura Hoffman
    Magdalena Abakanowicz, Walking Figures (group of 10), 2009; © Magdalena Abakanowicz, Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery, New York; Photography by Laura Hoffman

The New York Avenue Sculpture Project is the only public art space featuring changing installations of contemporary works by women artists in Washington, D.C.

The Sculpture Project illustrates the museum’s long-term commitment to the artistic beautification of New York Avenue, fostering a vibrant new identity for the neighborhood just east of the White House. Established in in 2010, the evolving public art program is a collaboration between the museum, the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID), the DC Office of Planning, and other local agencies.

Coming Soon:

The dynamic works of Mexico City-based Betsabeé Romero (b. 1963) form the next chapter in the New York Avenue Sculpture Project. To create her four sculptures developed expressly for this installation, Romero will assemble carved and painted tires into totemic structures that speak to themes of human migration and the natural environment. She embraces materials and techniques relating to popular culture. Using a process similar to tattooing, she carves figures and intricate patterns into the sidewalls and treads of tires, and then fills in the motifs with gleaming metallic paint. Romero’s sculptures are the first works featured in the Sculpture Project to incorporate interior lighting, which gives each piece an otherworldly glow.


Previous New York Avenue Sculpture Project Installations:

SEP 27 2014–SEP 27 2015

Magdalena Abakanowicz 

This installation included a range of figurative works by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. Her monumentally-scaled sculptures of grouped human figures and birds in flight exemplify issues universal to humankind: the power of nature, the force of destruction and the resiliency of hope. Abakanowicz’s art is often inspired by her experiences and observations during World War II and its repressive postwar climate.=

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MAR 08 2012–APR 27 2014

Chakaia Booker

Internationally renowned sculptor Chakaia Booker works almost exclusively with recycled tires that are cut, shaped and folded, then woven into dynamic, highly textured sculptures. Her large-scale expressive works fuse ecological concerns with explorations of racial and economic difference, globalization, and gender. The installation comprised four sculptures, including a new work that Booker created specifically for the project.

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APR 28–NOV 07 2010 & MAR 26–OCT 30 2011

Niki de Saint Phalle 

Niki de Saint Phalle’s sculptures on view showcased the ancient art form of mosaic in a new, exciting way. Combining dynamic color and form, de Saint Phalle created vibrant, lively figures, which are partly inspired by the famous Barcelona-based architect Antonio Gaudi (1852–1926). Her figures take on a life of their own: their large scale and active lines create motion and vigor.

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Exhibition-related Programming

National Museum of Women in the Arts