Outdoor Sculpture

Since the 1970s Michael Singer’s work opened new possibilities for outdoor sculpture and site-specific art. Singer has created outdoor sculptures for numerous prestigious exhibitions including “Documenta 6” in Kassell Germany, “Sculpture in the Twentieth Century” in Reihen, Switzerland (Art Basel), The Walker Art Center’s “Sculpture Inside Outside” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Singer has had several one-person shows, most notably at the Guggenheim Museum, New York City and most recently at the Utzon Center in Aalborg and the Danish Architectural Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2019 the American Academy of Arts and Letters named Singer a recipient of their Arts and Letters Award in Art.

Below is a selection of quotes on Michael Singer’s outdoor sculptures and installations:

“He works slowly and he allows nature her full share.  Nature’s sticks and stones, nature’s bamboos and grasses, are recruited but not violated.  The work proceeds at nature’s pace and in the end-result art and nature link arms and agree to live together.”

John Russell for the New York Times

“Singer’s sculptures whether indoors or out are rooted in the primitive character of his encounters with place… Singer’s acute feeling for form and the poetic evocation of an art which seeks to resolve the contradictions among man, culture and nature sets his work apart and marks it as unique.”

Diane Waldman   Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, “Michael Singer” catalogue

“From the hillside burrow the whole piece spread itself out before you like a surprise. The horizontal members of the structure (there were 150 lines in it, Singer said) bent this way and that in an unpredictable, though obviously controlled, rhythm, as in a fine drawing. Gradually, as the angle of the western sun decreased, these lines began to catch the light. In retrospect one’s impression seems sharp and clear, the piece floating luminously among the softer-colored grass under the dome of the sky. It actually happened though, by degree, each change in the light changing everything in the self-contained panorama before you, keeping your senses finely tuned.”

Ben Forgey for Smithsonian Magazine  ”Art Out of Nature which is About Nothing but Nature”


Projects are listed in the order of the slides:

First Gate Ritual Series 5-76. 1976, oak and fieldstone. Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, Roslyn, New York.

Situation Balance Series / Beaver Bog. 1971-1973, hemlock trees and jute rope. Marlboro, Vermont

Situation Balance Series II. 1971, hemlock trees. Wilmington, Vermont

Situation Balance Series I. 1971, hemlock trees. Wilmington, Vermont

Glades Ritual Series I. 1975, timber bamboo, jute. Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida

Glades Ritual Series / Cypress Domes. 1983, bamboo, phragmites, jute rope. Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida, Sponsored by The Ringling Museum of Art.

Glades Ritual Series IV. 1975, bamboo, phragmites, jute rope. Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida

First Gate Ritual Series 5-76. 1976, oak and fieldstone. Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, Roslyn, New York.

Lily Pond Ritual Series 7/75. 1975, bamboo and jute rope. Harriman State Park, New York. Sponsored by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission

First Gate Ritual Series 4/79. 1979, (midday clear, midday cloudy) bamboo, phragmites, jute rope. DeWeese Park, City Beautiful Council, Dayton, Ohio.

Ritual Series 5/79. 1979, spruce branches, jute rope, oak, phragmites, fieldstones. Wilmington, Vermont.

Tomol Ritual Series. 1987, pine fieldstone. Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, Mission Canyon, Santa Barbara, California. Sponsored by the Contemporary Art Forum of Santa Barbara.

Photography: Michael Singer, David Stansbury, William Dewey

Michael Singer Outdoor Sculpture