May 11, 2014 – August 3, 2014

Opening: May 11, 2014 (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm)

Artists: Žilvinas Kempinas

Scarecrow is a new site-specific installation by artist Žilvinas Kempinas and the largest installation in Socrates’ 28-year history. Minimal and magical, the sculpture is a 250-foot-long, thirteen-foot-high kinetic pathway composed of 200 stainless steel, mirrored poles connecting energetic slopes of silver Mylar ribbon overhead. With two simple elements – poles and tape – Scarecrow activates the invisible forces of nature.

Scarecrow reflects its surrounding environment and thus continuously changes throughout the exhibition. The perpetual motion of the ribbon, as it responds to the wind of its environment, echoes the natural flowing of the nearby East River, while the mirrored material reflects momentary shifts of light and sky like a shimmering horizon along the waterfront.

Blanketing a large portion of the 4.7 acre park, Scarecrow is Kempinas’ first major outdoor installation in the United States. Kempinas is internationally acclaimed for his kinetic installations and controlled, minimalist works; notably, the artist represented Lithuania at the 2009 Venice Biennale with a site-specific installation entitled Tube, and more recently Double O at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010), and Slow Motion at Museum Tinguely, Switzerland (2013). Kempinas recently created his first outdoor sculpture for the Echigo Tsumari Art Field In Japan (2012), which was subsequently shown as part of his solo exhibition at Museum Tinguely. That work, made from Japanese snow-measuring posts and bird-repellant ribbons, was titled Kakashi – or “Scarecrow” in Japanese. At Socrates Sculpture Park, the artist’s latest Scarecrow expands on Kakashi in scale, shape, and setting.

Unlike his large-scale installations in museums, galleries, and biennials, where the artist carefully calculates and manipulates artificial elements to create a desired effect, Kempinas’s outdoor sculptures are experimental and adapt to fluctuating weather conditions. While this fluidity creates endless possibilities for effect, the artist maintains a meticulousness in his process, establishing a series of set conditions upon which nature can play. From a distance Scarecrow appears as a monumental single sculpture that is at once impressively precise and brutally horizontal. As you move closer to the installation, however, Scarecrow becomes enlivened with motion and sound as it captures the wind and pulls the surrounding landscape into itself.

Scarecrow is made possible, in part, by generous gifts from the Lewben Art Foundation and Martin Z. Margulies.

The 2014 Exhibition Program at Socrates Sculpture Park is made possible by major support from the following: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Charina Endowment Fund, Cowles Charitable Trust, Mark di Suvero, the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation, Agnes Gund, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Lambent Foundation, Ivana Mestrovic, Plant Specialists, Shelley and Donald Rubin, and the Thomas W. Smith Foundation. 2014 Exhibitions are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and by public funds from the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


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Socrates is open 365 days a year from 10am to sunset.