Rendering courtesy of the artist.
The commission is Beier’s first solo public artwork in New York City
High Line Art announces a new commission by artist Nina Beier, titled Women & Children. The installation, a fountain composed of found bronze figures, will be on view from May 2022 through April 2023 on the High Line near Little West 12th Street. The commission, originally conceived as a proposal for the High Line Plinth, is Beier’s first solo public artwork in New York City. Women & Children is organized by Cecilia Alemani, Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator of High Line Art and Melanie Kress, High Line Art Associate Curator.
For the High Line, Beier realizes Women & Children, a fountain composed of found bronze sculptures of women and children. The statues range in style from classical to contemporary, and all depict women and children in the nude, as has been Western art-historical convention. Water streams from the eyes of the sculptures, creating cartoonish tears that point to the fragility projected onto women and children as subjects. The artist’s crying statues reference the materialized gaze of the Fountain of Vision at the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Portugal as well as pop culture icons, such as cartoons dramatically expelling tears or even crying emoji.
The work’s title echoes the phrase “women and children first,” a Victorian-era maritime code of conduct wherein women and children, assumed to be the weakest aboard, should be the first saved in a perilous situation.
Nina Beier creates still lifes in the form of performative sculptures and static assemblages. Her works tease apart a wide variety of cultural references to offer a window into the strange ways our worlds are put together. For example, Beier installed her work Men (2018), a collection of bronze statues of male war heroes, jockeys, and polo players on horses, in the breaking surf along the coast of Nieuwpoort, Belgium. In another work titled Housebroken (2016), Beier exhibited five massive marble guardian lion sculptures in the bathrooms, hallways, and courtyard garden at Kunsthal Ghent, Belgium.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Nina Beier (b. 1975, Aarhus, Denmark) lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark and Berlin, Germany. Beier has presented solo exhibitions at Rønnebæksholm, Denmark (2020); Spike Island, Bristol, England (2018); Kunstverein in Hamburg, Germany (2015); Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania (2015); and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California (2010). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California (2022); the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia (2019); YUZ Museum, Shanghai, China (2018); Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2018 and 2009); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2016); KW Institute For Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2015); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2014 and 2013); and Tate Modern, London, England (2012 and 2007). Her work has been featured in major international exhibitions including the São Paulo Bienal, Brazil (2021); Glasgow International, Scotland (2021); the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Latvia (2020); 20th Sydney Biennale, Australia (2016); 13th Biennale de Lyon, France (2015); and 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2015).
ABOUT HIGH LINE ART
Founded in 2009, High Line Art commissions and produces a wide array of artworks on the High Line, including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Led by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator of High Line Art, and presented by the High Line, the art program invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the unique architecture, history, and design of the park, and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.
For further information on High Line Art, please visit thehighline.org/art.
ABOUT THE HIGH LINE
The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through our work with communities on and off the High Line, we’re devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.
Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through the gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food or beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors—all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.
Nearly 100% of our annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and we operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.
Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and Charina Endowment Fund. Project support is provided by Charlotte Feng Ford and Vivian and James Zelter. Additional support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams.
Nina Beier, Women & Children, is made possible, in part, by the New Carlsberg Foundation.