Art Program

Ownership actively contributes to the cultural community as an expression of ongoing commitment to excellence in the visual arts and architecture.

Since 2005, 499 Park has underwritten contemporary art exhibitions in the building’s lobby gallery. Working with internationally renowned curators, galleries and artists, the building has sponsored over 25 rotating shows during that time, primarily focusing on work by mid- to late-career artists as well as work from artists’ estates. Representative shows have included painting, prints, photography, small scale sculpture, and installations.

Among the artists whose work have been exhibited are: Thomas Downing, Doug Ohlson, Ray Parker, Robert Swain, Tadasky, John Walker and Richard Anuskiewicz.

Artist Currently on Display (Exhibit opened on September 21, 2022)

Heat and Shadow

Kim Uchiyama
Heat and Shadow

Paintings, like all creative efforts, begin somewhere, stirred by a certain light, a color, a shape, perhaps by a sound, a scent, a taste, or by a word, a phrase, something seen and felt that captivates the painter enough to translate it, to take possession of it.

These paintings began in Sicily.

Abstract as they are, the imagery of these works is specific, born from the light and landscape of Sicily by the New York−based artist Kim Uchiyama. The seven works on view in this exhibition, as well as others like them, were inspired by several trips Uchiyama made to the storied Mediterranean island−her first in 2015, her latest this past July. They are distillations of her profound connection to Sicily, focusing on its magnificent temple sites, in particular those of Selinunte and Agrigento, two of the most important colonies of Magna Graecia, established in the era when the Greeks ruled much of the known world.

Like so many others before her, Uchiyama succumbed to the region's incomparable light as well as to its history and myths, to the romance of ruins and their place in the present. She was also dazzled by Sicily's natural beauty, the wildness of its landscape heightening the lucidity of Hellenic construction and its canons. The opposition of nature and culture was not only aesthetic but also religious and political, the imposing presence of the colonizers' monuments (a perennial tactic) forcibly reminding all who saw them who wielded the power. Despite that, these sacred precincts are architectural high points that are now the heritage of the Sicilians and the world, a gift from the Greeks that they no longer need to beware of.

Uchiyama said that what she felt seemed to emanate from the land itself, steeped in violence and disruption and the heady exuberance of its diverse demographics (occupied by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Germanic tribes, Arabs, Normans, the Spanish, becoming part of Italy in 1860 and an autonomous region of the latter in 1946), all of which added to its glamour and the richness of its culture.

So, how is that translated into a painting and what would it look like? For Uchiyama, it looks characteristically like bands of glowing color−̋color,̋ she says, ̋also acts as light̋−the dimensions of the support and images scaled to the human body. The paintings might seem understated at first, but they are far from spare, centered as they are on their materiality and the infinite ithin the artist's lexicon. In this selection, her formats are vertical and the bands horizontal.

Kim Uchiyama: Heat and Shadow
Kim Uchiyama Artist Site

Previous Gallery Features Click on the images to download a PDF brochure of the featured artists.