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Public Art

Art in Focus: Debbie Lawson

Nov 20Jan 25Rockefeller CenterFree and open to the public

Rockefeller Center and Art Production Fund present the fourth Art in Focus exhibition of 2023: Debbie Lawson.

Lawson’s work navigates the domestic interior, seamlessly intertwining popular narratives and personal histories. Her creations, often inspired by the cultural significance of everyday objects, challenge conventional perceptions of form. For Lawson’s Art in Focus exhibition, she drew inspiration from the architecture of Rockefeller Center. Inspired by Lee Lawrie's Arms of England, the three gilded lions which appear above the 50th street entrance to 620 Fifth Avenue at Rockefeller Center, Lawson has created site specific works for the vitrines at 45 Rockefeller Plaza. In the vitrine spaces, the three royal lions become animated, creeping out from their carpets like animals in the woods.

Located at the Rink Level of 45 Rockefeller Plaza, the 125ft concourse features a mural mosaic of carpet imagery and wild animals including stags, wild boars, deer, tigers, and bears. Iconography within Lawson's work references ancient animal motifs found in traditional carpets and comes from the artist's careful study of patterns within nature and the built environment. These tapestries offer a mesmerizing visual experience, blurring the lines between two and three dimensions.

As viewers wander through the spaces filled with carpet camouflaged wild animal imagery, Lawson hopes they become main characters within her artistic presentation, embracing the adventure of uncovering hidden, sometimes strange or darker, meanings within.

Made specifically for Lawson’s Art In Focus exhibition, large scale stag sculptures will also be on view, populating various lobby spaces of Rockefeller Center.

To complement the Art In Focus exhibition, Art Production Fund in collaboration with Lawson, will host an Art Sundae event. An initiative designed to foster children's confidence through artmaking, the artist will lead a free and open-to-the-public workshop to produce a public art installation which will be displayed at 10 Rockefeller Plaza.


ART IN FOCUS is a multidisciplinary program that showcases installations by contemporary artists inspired by the New York City landscape and contemporary life. Artists featured in the series will have their work displayed in a number of prominent and unexpected public locations throughout Rockefeller Center. Art in Focus is presented in partnership with Rockefeller Center and Art Production Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences, and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Past Art in Focus artists include Joana Avillez, Hein Koh, Portia Munson, LaKela Brown, Lucy Sparrow, Angelica Hicks, Vanessa German, Ryan Flores, Genevieve Gaignard, Oliver Jeffers, Hiba Schahbaz, Sanford Biggers, Hilary Pecis, Maurice Harris, Lisa Congdon, Max Colby, Hugo McCloud, Emily Mullin, Arghavan Khosravi, Lorraine Nam, Joel Gaitan, Basil Kincaid and most recently Dominique Fung.


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