The spring/summer exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park opened over the weekend, a solo show featuring ten specially-commissioned pieces by the American artist Virginia Overton. Born in Tennessee and known for using found materials in dramatic, surprising, and sometimes witty ways, Overton is the latest on-the-rise sculptor—locally she's shown at the Whitney and Storm King—to take over the entire Astoria park, and the show, called Built, should prove to a be crowd-pleaser all season long.
Overton continues her long-running series of repurposing big American pick-up trucks with two pieces in Built. Near the entrance to the park is "Late Bloomer," a Dodge Ram 150 with a working fountain in its bed, complete with a swath of lotus plants. Closer to the East River, the Upper East Side skyline as a backdrop, is "Mobile," a 1990 Ford F 250 covered entirely in deep blue paint (it looks black though) with an industrial tank, which doubles as a swing, swaying from its tow arm.
Other works in Built include another sculpture that can used as a swing, "Suspended Beam," for which Overton took a huge pine joist from the Socrates work area and hung it from a steel gantry; "4x8," a rectangular mold filled varying sizes of cut pipes, which changes significantly in its appearance depending on your angle and is fun to look through; and the gigantic "Gem," dominating the center of the park with its dual architectural truss systems.
Socrates Sculpture Park is located in Astoria at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard at the western end of Broadway (now near two Citi Bike docks!) and is open daily from 9 a.m. until sundown. Virginia Overton's Built runs through September 3.