Public art installations: Discover public art installations and sculptures in cities and public spaces that contribute to the cultural landscape of the USA

Kusama: Cosmic Nature| New York, NY, 2021

America’s best museums are traditionally home to the most famous works of art in this country. But you’ll have to look behind their four bulky walls to find the coolest art installations in the US. In a country that idealizes cross-country travel, you’ll find quirky sights along with deserted stretches of highways and amazing sculptures among the southern swamps. And trust us, you’ll want to see them all.

And so we bring to your attention the best, in our opinion, art installations in the United States.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens | Philadelphia, PA

What began as artist Isaiah Zagara’s solo project to beautify a seedy neighborhood in the late 1960s has now become one of most interesting art installations in the USA. For five decades, Zagar has plastered walls and sidewalks with mosaics of clay tiles, found objects, junk, and international folk art. The tunnels and grottoes he excavated in the mid-2000s add to the eclectic vision, which now consists of two covered galleries and a two-level open-air sculpture garden.

Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum | Joshua Tree, CA

Artist Noah Purifoy chose the bubbling Mojave to build his 10-acre open-air Desert Museum. Here you can see a collection of large-scale immersive sculptures made from blown tires, broken keyboards, scrap metal and cracked toilet bowls. It is impossible to disagree with the fact that this museum greatly diversified the cultural landscape not only of a single state, but of the whole country.

Area 15 | Las Vegas, NV

Zone 15 is not only one of the art installations, but also an immersive playground and alien carnival combined into one exciting Las Vegas adventure. Several artists and art groups have shaped the atmosphere with exhibits such as Wink World, a laughterhouse of light, sound and movement created by Blue Man Group co-founder Chris Wink.

Cadillac Ranch | Amarillo, TX

In 1974, a group of San Francisco hippies calling themselves the Ant Farm drove ten classic Cadillacs into a field near Amarillo, Texas on Route 66. There they first dug the noses of the cars into the mud, one after the other. The vehicles stayed there for over 20 years. The cars were later moved and ideally reburied on nearby Interstate 40 and became one of the most famous art in public spaces.

Chihuly Garden and Glass | Seattle, WA

Glass denizen Dale Chihuly’s otherworldly garden grows in the shadow of Seattle’s Space Needle. Inside, you can see beautiful sculptures that intertwine with the lush living landscape. A 4,500-square-foot greenhouse with a 100-foot-long sculpture of bright red, orange, and yellow petals suspended from the ceiling is at the centre. Eight additional indoor galleries showcase more of Chihuly’s work in shapes, colors and patterns that defy expectations and test the limits of what glass is capable of.


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