Zaq Landsberg: Reclining Liberty

On View: August 5, 2023 - July 28, 2024

Front Lawn

MoCA Arlington and Arlington Public Art are thrilled to co-sponsor the installation of Zaq Landsberg’s celebrated Reclining Liberty on the Museum’s front lawn.

Reclining Liberty takes inspiration from the giant reclining Buddha statues of Asia, which represent the Buddha in one stage on the path to enlightenment and are a theme throughout Buddhist art. By merging the traditional Buddhist reclining pose and the quintessential American figurative symbol, Reclining Liberty asks the viewer to contemplate the status of the ideals the Statue of Liberty represents. Welcoming public engagement and interactivity, the work’s playfulness and accessibility suggest that these ideals of liberty and freedom are active, tangible, and evolving and need to be directly engaged with, debated, and defended.

Reclining Liberty was originally installed in Morningside Park in Manhattan in April of 2021 and quickly became a neighborhood landmark and a popular spot for formal and impromptu public gatherings. In May of 2022, the work was relocated to Liberty State Park, where it greeted visitors boarding the ferries to Liberty Island. MoCA Arlington and Arlington Public Art are excited to co-sponsor the work’s first appearance outside of New York and New Jersey. The work’s yearlong residency at MoCA Arlington will be accompanied by a series of public programs, to be announced at a later date.

Zaq Landsberg was born in Los Angeles, California and is currently based in New York City. His public artworks and large-scale sculptures have been installed throughout the United States and internationally including at Morningside Park (Harlem, NYC), Liberty State Park (Jersey City, NJ), Green-Wood Cemetery (Brooklyn, NYC), La Ene (Buenos Aires, Argentina), CUAC (Salt Lake City, UT), the Figment Festival (Governor’s Island, NY), Socrates Sculpture Park (Queens, NYC), Franconia Sculpture Park (Shafer, MN) and others. He created new works for Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens, NY) through the Art in the Parks: UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant and in Fort Tryon Park (New York, NY) through the New York City Parks’ Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award. Landsberg’s work has been covered in more than 40 countries and 27 languages, including by The New York Times, artnet news, NY Magazine, Time Out NY, Vice, NY Daily News, The Believer, PEOPLE Magazine, Clarín (Argentina), ARTE (France), Blouin Art Info, Gothamist, KSL Salt Lake City, WGN Radio, and The Daily Mail, among others.

The creation and previous presentations of Reclining Liberty were supported by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ), Friends of Morningside Park, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Zaqistan Arts Council, and Andrew Logan Projects. with additional support from Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, Exchange Place Alliance, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The presentation of Reclining Liberty at Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington is organized by Blair Murphy, curator of exhibitions, MoCA Arlington and co-sponsored by Arlington Public Art.

Related Events
Reclining Liberty Opening Celebration
Saturday / August 5 / 11am-1pm

Reclining Liberty in the news
Fox 5, Washington DC
The Hill on NewsNation

About MoCA Arlington
The Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that enriches community life by connecting the public with contemporary art and artists through exhibitions, education programs, and an artists-in-residence program. Located at 3550 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA, the museum is open Wed.-Sun. 12-5pm. The museum has free on-site parking, is easy to reach by metro and bus, and is accessible. There is no admission fee to visit. For more information about our exhibitions and programming, visit Follow us @mocaarlington.

About Arlington Public Art
Arlington Public Art is a program of Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development (AED) that delivers public activities and programs as Arlington Arts. Our mission is to create, support, and promote the arts, connecting artists and community to reflect the diversity of Arlington. We do this by providing material support to artists and arts organizations in the form of grants, facilities, and technical resources; integrating award-winning public art into our built environment; and presenting high quality performing, literary, visual, and new media programs across the County.

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