City Life Org – Lincoln Center announces public art commissions for the new David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, in collaboration with the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Public Art Fund

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, New York. Photo by Iñaki Vinaixa.

Artists Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite selected for first visual art installations

Ahead of the reopening of the new David Geffen Hall, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) collaborated with the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Public Art Fund to commission acclaimed contemporary artists Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite for new site-specific visuals . works of art that will inaugurate the new David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic, which will open in October 2022.

Bringing together the most exciting contemporary visual artists working in David Geffen Hall today, these artworks are the first in what will be a new rotating series of public commissions for the Hall’s public spaces. Showcasing a new generation of artists, the series will serve as a beacon of David Geffen Hall and Lincoln Center’s renewed emphasis on hospitality and inclusion.

Abney’s work will enliven the building’s nearly 200-foot north facade along 65th Street, transforming a previously unattractive long stretch of the building into a dynamic outdoor installation for the first time, ensuring those standing outside outside the four walls of the Hall interact with the institution in a new and surprising way, just by walking.

Satterwhite’s work will activate the Hall Marquee, a 50-foot media wall created to provide New Yorkers and visitors the opportunity to engage with performances inside the Hall for free as they occur. happening, along with captivating works of art, all year round.

These two works, along with the larger art initiative, will help create a sense of welcome both inside and out, inviting those who may have never interacted with Lincoln Center or the New York Philharmonic to see institutions in a new way.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Studio Museum and the Public Art Fund to give these brilliant artistic voices a place of honor at Lincoln Center,” said Katherine Farley, president of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

“We couldn’t be more honored to have such important artists working with us to open up this new space. Their imprint on this building and this project will strengthen our work and provide such meaningful experiences for all who are here in the community and far beyond,” said Henry Timms, president and CEO of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

“A guiding principle of the new David Geffen Hall is to open our campus to our community – through the structure of the building and through the way we present the art we curate. The very public unveiling of these two dynamic pieces will announce to New York and to the world that we are back and welcome all artists and art lovers,” said Deborah Borda, Linda and Mitch Hart President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Nina Chanel Abney’s installation for the 65th Street facade will celebrate the rich cultural heritage of San Juan Hill and provide insight into the area’s complex history and culture. It will lift the voices of people who have lived here, worked here, and created here, as well as those who still live here now.

Applying her vibrant colors and signature graphic and stylized imagery to the surfaces of seven of the bay windows along the north facade, Abney will create new iconography featuring portraits of notable San Juan Hill residents, scenes drawn from the daily lives of this community. Recognizing that we cannot move forward without knowing the past, the play will inspire a dialogue around gentrification and the long history of San Juan Hill.

Jacolby Satterwhite is best known for his dreamlike digital animations that synthesize performance, illustration, painting, and other artistic practices. Satterwhite will create a poetic new video for the media wall that combines digital technology with archival material, featuring over a hundred music and dance students from local schools including the Ailey School, the Juilliard School and the Professional Performing Arts School. Together, they represent future audiences and performers at Lincoln Center and reflect the diversity of New York City.

Filmed on green screen and composited into a highly detailed fantasy landscape, the students appear to be dancing and playing their instruments amid a series of experimental animations and archival footage from Lincoln Center’s history. This merging of eras acknowledges a complex past as it serves to envision a more open and inclusive future for classical music, as well as the future of Lincoln Center, from an intimate perspective – not Lincoln Center by far, but from close.

Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, said, “The David Geffen Hall reimagining ranks among New York’s most visible and significant cultural building projects, and demands a visual art presence equal in spirit and power to the Orchestra’s music.” New York Philharmonic itself. I am so thrilled that this crucial program is inaugurating with works by Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite, artists whose boundless imagination and deep thinking will speak and move all who come to Lincoln Center.

“This collaboration with Lincoln Center demonstrates the essential role of public art in opening doors, changing perceptions, fostering creativity, and engaging new audiences,” said Nicholas Baume, artistic director and executive of the Public Art Fund. “Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite are both remarkable innovators, reinventing the visual languages ​​of our time. They are visionaries of history, digging into erased or forgotten narratives to create new images and experiences. Acknowledging the past and embracing the future, their works promise to give us all a richer and deeper sense of our culture, our city and ourselves.

Opening two years ahead of schedule and on budget, the new David Geffen Hall will provide a premier home for the New York Philharmonic on the Lincoln Center campus, a more engaged and inviting connection with the community at wide and a musical program that goes beyond the traditional Orchestra audience to present the new spaces.

The project enhances the overall concert experience by creating a state-of-the-art theater, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, to serve as the home of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and host the performers and audience expected from the future. At the same time, he is working with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects to revamp and revitalize tens of thousands of square feet into new public space for various cultural uses, including performance and community, many of which are free to the public. It achieves all this while respecting the iconic exterior.

The revitalization of David Geffen Hall, with its added promise to create jobs and stimulate the economy as New York City recovers from the economic and social impact of COVID-19, is crucial. The New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center were determined to keep the construction process moving throughout the pandemic to create jobs and improve New York’s cultural life.

Now, opening in October, the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center are delivering on their promise: the project will support $600 million in economic activity and 6,000 jobs for New Yorkers. The project team exceeded its inclusion criteria, with a 42% stake in building minority and women-owned businesses, and an average of 52% of the workforce from communities under-represented.

David Geffen Hall will create a stunning concert hall and home to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a versatile space for 21st century presentations and exciting community activities.

About David Geffen Hall’s reimagining

The construction budget for David Geffen Hall is $550 million. Turner Construction Company is the construction manager, Fisher Dachs Associates led the planning and design of the theater, Akustiks is the acoustics engineer, and Kohler Ronan and Thornton Tomasetti companies are providing engineering services.

More details on the renovation can be found at

About the Public Art Fund

Public Art Fund is a nonprofit organization that has brought dynamic exhibitions of the world’s most compelling and important artists to New York and beyond for more than 40 years. These projects set the standard of excellence in the field, giving new meaning to urban space, while engaging diverse audiences and making culture accessible to all.

In addition to this core program, Public Art Fund also offers consultancy services that bring expertise in strategic planning, curation, project management and communications to the world’s leading cultural institutions, businesses and civic organizations through the through Public Art Fund: Creative Partnerships. Amplifying the impact of partners’ own initiatives, Public Art Fund commissions permanent installations and temporary exhibitions in keeping with its partners’ unique vision and site-specific parameters, resulting in new works that activate public spaces and create engaged constituencies through the power of public art. For more information, visit

About the Studio Museum of Harlem

Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists and philanthropists, the Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the work of artists of African descent. The Studio Museum is preparing to build a new home, designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, at its longtime location on Manhattan’s West 125th Street. The building – the first created expressly for the institution’s program – will allow the Studio Museum to better serve a growing and diverse audience, provide additional educational opportunities for people of all ages, expand its exhibition program by worldwide reputation, to effectively exhibit its singular collection, and to strengthen its innovative program of artists in residence.

Although currently closed for construction, the Studio Museum is working to deepen its roots in its neighborhood through a vibrant set of collaborative initiatives. The museum’s groundbreaking exhibits, thought-provoking conversations, and engaging art-making workshops continue at various partner and satellite sites in Harlem and beyond. For more information, visit

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James C. Tibbs