The explosion in high-quality outdoor sculptures means your New York City art viewing isn't relegated to the inside of museums -- an especially nice thing in beautiful September weather. Forget about pigeon-topped statues of founding fathers or bland corporate plaza art -- New York City has gotten a lot smarter about its public spaces and its public art. Here's a guide to some of the best on view now. --TED LOOS. Special to Newsday
"SURVIVAL OF SERENA" at Petrosino Square: It's fun to see the double takes from passersby when they see this sculpture of a woman in an inner tube. (Aug. 29, 2012)
"SURVIVAL OF SERENA" at Petrosino Square: Artist Carole Feuerman has won a bunch of awards for the piece, which debuted at the Venice Biennale. It gets its name from Venice's former handle: La Serenissima. Info: through Sept. 23; Petrosino Square (Kenmare and Lafayette streets), nycgovparks.org/parks/petrosinosquare. (Aug. 29, 2012)
BRUCE HIGH QUALITY FOUNDATION: Lever House has an unusual work in its elegant, street-level courtyard just off Park Avenue: a giant cast-bronze rat, courtesy of the tongue-in-cheek artist's collective called the Bruce High Quality Foundation. It's a monumental version of the inflatable, union-protest rodent seen at construction sites around town, part of a three-work installation called "Art History With Labor." Info: through Sept. 28; 390 Park Ave., leverhouseartcollection.com. (Aug. 29, 2012)
MARK DI SUVERO at Governors Island: The 78-year-old sculptor is one of the masters of the game, and his painted steel beams are familiar favorites to art lovers everywhere. Expanding on the 2011 installation of his work on Governors Island, Storm King Art Center has now placed 12 of his bold, geometric works there, mostly near the Parade Ground (and not far from the ferry to Manhattan). There's lots of other public art on the island, so wander. Info: through Sept. 30; Governors Island, govisland.stormking.org.
MARK DI SUVERO at Governors Island: A dozen of the sculptor's works are on display, plus there's lots of other public art on the island, so wander. Info: through Sept. 30; Governors Island, govisland.stormking.org.
"FLOW.12" at Randall's Island: On the other isle-turned-sculpture park, this show features five projects by young artists who all address local history and the very idea of outdoor public space. Gabriela Bertiller's "Glamorous Picnic" is among the works on display. (2012)
"FLOW.12" at Randall's Island: Nathan Gwynne's work, "Famous Faces of Randall's Island," is a series of life-size aluminum cutouts of the notables who shaped the place, including parks commissioner Robert Moses and Jimi Hendrix, who played a concert there. (2012)
"FLOW.12" at Randall's Island: The faces of Nathan Gwynne's "Famous Faces of Randall's Island" are missing, so bring a camera to capture friends and family posing as Olympic great Jesse Owens and others. (2012)
"FLOW.12" at Randall's Island: Michael Clyde Johnson's "Untitled (Two Viewing Rooms, Offset)" is also part of the exhibit. Info: through Sept. 30; Randall's Island, flow12.org. (2012)
"COMMON GROUND" at City Hall Park: This ambitious installation from the Public Art Fund involves 10 artists from around the world. The pieces range from the whimsical (Paul McCarthy's inflatable "Daddie's Ketchup") to the sober and more classical-looking (Thomas Schütte's "Memorial for the Unknown Artist"). (Aug. 29, 2012)
"COMMON GROUND" at City Hall Park: The overall theme of the exhibit -- which includes Amalia Pica's "Now, Speak!" -- seems to be a meta-comment on the nature of public art itself. Info: through Nov. 30; City Hall Park, nycgovparks.org/art/year2012. (Aug. 29, 2012)