Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York

Percent for Art

   Lorenzo Pace

Triumph of the Human Spirit, 2000, Granite


Triumph of the Human Spirit

Completion Date:







Foley Square


Foley Sqaure


Coe Lee Robinson Roesch

Sponsor Agency:

Department of Parks and Recreation

Design Agency:



The monument Triumph of the Human Spirit is one of the world's largest site-specific installations, venerating the experience of African American enslavement. Towering at over fifty feet and weighing more than 300 tons, the massive black granite sculpture was built on a rediscovered African burial ground. The sculpture depicts an abstract female antelope form, mounted on a boat shaped base. According to the artist, the piece is inspired by "Chi Wara" an antelope effigy from West Africa that symbolizes a responsibility for continuing the next generation and for celebrating a successful harvest. Triumph of the Human Spirit serves as a monument to honor all Africans brought to America but is also dedicated to all ancestors as well as the future generations to come.

About the Artist...
Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1943, Lorenzo Pace makes art in his studio in Brooklyn. Using largely found objects, his installations, performance pieces, and woodcarvings address such themes as voodoo, African iconography, and urban issues. His work has been exhibited and performed nationally and internationally at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and Plexus International in Rome and Sardina, Italy.

Artist Quote...
"I am motivated to make art which may inspire others to think about life and death, about how they stand apart and also cling to each other, about how immediately both conditions are present in the visible and the invisible world. Viewers may be motivated to question their perception about the absence, the fullness, the value and necessity of caring for themselves, others, our planet and its occupants." -- Lorenzo Pace, 2000