Modern Art on the streets of New York City

We would love to provide you with a guide of the most famous contemporary sculptures in New York City.

New York is famous for it’s contemporary art, for its bold colors and shapes. Where else in the world you will find so many art pieces that are available to the public view 24 hours a day. Anywhere you go in Manhattan you will be exposed to this beautiful and sometimes strange world of modern art.

We will introduce you to a several very well – known contemporary artists.

Isamu Noguchi ‘s “Red Cube”  (1968) located on 140 Broadway, between Liberty and Cedar Streets. The bright red painted steel of Isamu Noguchi’s Red Cube stands out in strong contrast to the blacks, browns, and whites of the buildings and sidewalks around the sculpture. Despite its title, the sculpture is not actually a cube, but instead seems as though it has been stretched along its vertical axis. Through the center of the cube there is a cylindrical hole, revealing an inner surface of gray with evenly-spaced lines moving from one opening of the hole to the other. Looking through this hole, the viewer’s gaze is directed towards the building behind, tying the sculpture and the architecture together.

Isamu Noguchi red-cube

Jean Dubuffet’s “Group of Four Trees” (1969-72), located a block away from “Red cube”, is a black and white sculpture standing just in front of the black and white Chase Manhattan Bank building. The similarities between the sculpture and building, however, stop there. The building’s straight lines and evenly-spaced rows of windows stand in contrast to the irregular surfaces of Group of Four Trees. The forms of the trees are made up of a series of varying planes, all white, and connected together by thick black outlines. The trees’ canopies lean in different directions, and the heights of the four trees are all different, making the viewer’s eye move all around the sculpture, following the many lines that are present.


“Balloon Flower” is a beautiful mirror-polished stainless steel sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist, Jeff Koons. The piece is installed in a small plaza outside 7 World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Overlooking Ground Zero, the art installation is located in a park bounded by Greenwich Street, Vesey Street and West Broadway. The Balloon Flower consists of seven elements: six large blossom- or balloon-like shapes of various sizes, and one bar that can be taken as a flower stem. They are all aglow in bright red, so that they can see themselves and the world around them reflected. It’s been said that the true appeal of the Balloon Flower is that it attracts people to look at it, and then reflects them back at themselves.

Jeff Koons Baloon Flower

Arnaldo Pomodoro is an Italian sculptor who has created several bronze sculptures on the theme of “Sphere within Sphere”. The version on exhibit at the United Nations New York, was a gift from the government of Italy. It was presented to the United Nations by Lamberto Dini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy and unveiled on November 21, 1996.

Bronze Sculpture Sphere Within Sphere By Arnaldo Pomodoro, UN Garden, New York, USA

According the Facebook page for these sculptures “the inner ball represents the Earth and outer ball represents Christianity”. Versions of this sculpture can be seen in the Vatican Museums, Rome; Trinity College, Dublin; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, de Young Museum, San Francisco, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, and the University of California, Berkeley.

“Love” sculpture by Robert Indiana is an iconic pop art piece, on Sixth Avenue in mid-town Manhattan, might be the second most popular sculpture in the city after the Statue of Liberty).   His works were never copyrighted and his LOVE letters have been reproduced in print, on postage stamps (the first Love stamps in 1973) and a piece sold at Christie’s auction house in May for over $200,000. Worth to see it.


Keith Haring’s untitled sculpture (Figure Balancing On Dog) 1986, is installed at 17 State Street in downtown Manhattan near the New Amsterdam Pavilion. This piece is made of painted steel. Very bright eye catching art piece among greyish buildings of New York City.

Balancing on the dog 17 street manhattanWe would love to bring your attention to Fernando Botero’s art works , there are few of them represented  throughout New York City. Botero’s monumental sculptures are formal masterpieces of composed volume and mass. He has said of his sculpture, “I never give particular traits to my figures. I don’t want them to have personality, but rather that they represent a type that I create. My sculptures do not carry any messages, social or otherwise… what matters for me is the form, the voluptuous surfaces which emphasize the sensuality of my work.”

Fernando Botero sculpture at time warner center

Fernando Botero Cat on Upper East DSC_0042

What animal is this, it’s a “Moonbird” (1966) by Joan Miro, located on the plaza of the Solow Building on 58th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Moonbird is a vertical and dynamic form with a polished surface that evokes certain primitive figures.


And the last artist we would like to introduce you to is Tom Otterness. American artist, his style is often described as cartoonish and cheerful, but also political. His sculptures allude to sex, class, money and race. Otterness is perhaps best known to New Yorkers for his 2002 Life Underground installation, which is located in the 14th Street–Eighth Avenue New York City Subway station.[16] It is a sculptural group that consists of over 100 cast-bronze sculptures placed throughout the platforms and stairways of the A, C, E, and L lines of the station.

Tom Otterness in NYC subwaytomotterness02Otterness_immigrant11

Enjoy the art…