Wave Hill Commissions Animated Light Installation by Award-Winning Artist Chris Doyle, on View April 24–May 24, 2015

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Wave Hill announces a groundbreaking installation by acclaimed interdisciplinary artist Chris Doyle, commissioned to honor this milestone in the institution’s history. Doyle’s large-scale, site-specific work, under the working title The Lightening: a project for Wave Hill’s Aquatic Garden, will engage the formal pool, offering a dynamic fusion of garden, light and animation that will pay homage to the intersection of horticulture and art—a feature that distinguishes Wave Hill as a landscape of complex, dynamic beauty.  

A group of three, faceted structures will activate the serene space, hovering above the water and contained by the surrounding pergolas. These sculptures, incorporating projection animation and LEDs, will take direct inspiration from specific plants in the Aquatic Garden. As visitors pass by, around and through the sculptural pieces, a sound component, developed in collaboration with innovative composer Jeremy Turner, will be integral to the immersive effect.

The first site-specific light installation in Wave Hill’s history, Doyle’s project will also be the first to provide the public with the rare opportunity to view the gardens during evening hours in springtime. With the grounds open on select evenings during the installation, visitors will discover—or rediscover—the landscape and vistas in an entirely novel manner. Doyle’s installation will act as the fulcrum point for the experience; in bringing artistic animation to the grounds, the work is meant to encourage visitors to consider the inherent vitality of the gardens, and appreciate the deeply entwined connection between art and horticulture.   

Concurrent with the outdoor installation, Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery will exhibit three animation projects by Chris Doyle. Bright Canyon, 2014, was commissioned by the Times Square Art Alliance; Apocalypse Management (telling about being one being living), 2009, and Waste_Generation, 2010, are part of a series inspired by Thomas Cole’s Course of Empire paintings.

Doyle was selected for the commission by Wave Hill’s President & Executive Director Claudia Bonn, Director of Arts & Senior Curator Jennifer McGregor and Director of Horticulture Louis Bauer. They noted his dexterity with multiple media, sensitivity to landscape and plant life and artistic engagement with the Hudson River.

A recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection Prize, Doyle explores the way that human anxieties and collective attitudes about the environment are projected through representations of landscape. 

Viewing Schedule

The public will be able to view the installation, visit the gardens, Glyndor Gallery and The Shop and Café from 6:30 to 9:30PM on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, from April 24 to May 24, 2015. Advance ticket purchase recommended. Special event pricing to be determined. 

Support for the Visual Arts Program at Wave Hill is provided by the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation;The New York Community Trust; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts. The Institution’s operations are made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


About Us

Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.