Creative Time

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A non-profit arts organization founded in 1974, Creative Time promotes and supports public art. Utilizing unconventional and often overlooked spaces in New York City and elsewhere, Creative Time commissions artists to create installations and artworks that trigger dynamic conversations between site, audience, and context. Between 1978 and 1985, it sponsored Art on the Beach, an annual summer exhibition held outdoors on the sandy dunes of a landfill bank of the Hudson River, the future location of Battery Park City. Drawing inspiration from the Earthworks movement, which saw artists such as Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, and Robert Smithson making site-specific works from the natural landscape, Art on the Beach provided a temporary public venue for site-specific installations that were sculptural, architectural, and theatrical. Artists often collaborated across disciplines: performance artists, for example, employed
art installations as their stages. Many used everyday objects such as refrigerators and mirrors to create sculptural monuments or construct architectural environments against
the Manhattan skyline. This wide-ranging experimentation was invariably steeped in humor. Its spirit of improvisation and irreverence consistently reflected the transitional nature of its urban site, and is conjured up in the exhibition's (and organization's) very name.