Roberta Smith gives public art a big thumbs up in the New York Times, remarking that it has gone from an embarrassing backwater to a vibrant leader:
At the time many of the most talented emerging sculptors were making anything but sculpture. Ephemeral installations, earthworks and permanent site-specific works were in vogue, and soon the very phrase “public sculpture” had been replaced by public art, an amorphous new category in which art could be almost anything: LED signs, billboards, slide or video projections, guerrilla actions, suites of waterfalls.
But over the past 15 years public sculpture — that is, static, often figurative objects of varying sizes in outdoor public spaces — has become one of contemporary art’s more exciting areas of endeavor and certainly its most dramatically improved one.
Public Art: Eye Sore to Eye Candy (New York Times)