May 15—December 31, 2007Mad Sq. Art presents three stainless-steel sculptures by internationally- renowned artist Roxy Paine: Conjoined (2007), Defunct (2004) and Erratic (2007). Paine’s long interest in the juxtaposition between nature and industrialization has informed his extensive body of work, from mushroom and plant fields to art-making machines and large-scale metal trees. Through work that combines the organic with the manufactured, Paine questions the tension between our control over the man-made world and nature’s autonomy.
Conjoined is a forty-foot sculpture of two trees whose branches cantilever in space and connect mid-air. The trees are different species, but to the observer it is unclear where one tree begins and the other ends. This sculpture is part of an ongoing, larger body of work–stainless-steel tree sculptures ranging from twelve to fifty-five feet in height. These pieces are complex, fabricated from up to seven thousand metal pipe and rod elements, and assembled through the rigorous tasks of cutting, bending, tacking, welding, grinding, and polishing. Conjoined, with its gleaming steel branches and improbable marriage of two species, embodies man’s complex relationship with both the empirical and utopian. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in 1839, “We want the Exact & the Vast; we want our Dreams and our Mathematics.”
Defunct is a forty-two-foot, stainless-steel sculpture of a dead or dying tree infiltrated with fungus. The beauty of the once daunting, vibrant tree is shadowed by growing rot. Defunct, a meditation on loss and life, describes the symbiosis between industry and earth, between production and natural selection.
Erratic is a stainless-steel boulder measuring seven feet high by fifteen feet wide. The term “erratic” refers to a rock that is found in an area where it bears little or no relationship to the underlying geology. Essentially, it is a boulder that has been carried by a glacier hundreds of miles away from its original geographic location. Erratic’s slick exterior leaves its origin unexplained.
About the Artist
Roxy Paine was born in New York in 1966. He studied at both College of Santa Fe, New Mexico and at Pratt Institute, New York. Since 1990, his work has been internationally exhibited and is included in major collections such as De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, The Netherlands; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden; and Whitney Museum of American Art.
Roxy Paine lives and works in Brooklyn and Treadwell, New York and is represented by James Cohan Gallery, New York and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York.
Support for this project was provided by Founding Partners: Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Agnes Gund & Daniel Shapiro, Jill & Peter Kraus, and Anonymous. Major support is provided by Henry Luce Foundation, Leucadia Foundation, and Toby Lewis Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Cleveland. Additional support provided by Pierpaolo Barzan, Barbara Berger, Susi & Joe Berland, Jill & Jay Bernstein, James Cohan Gallery, Paul Frankel, Lisa & Stuart Ginsberg, Marianne & Sheldon Lubar, Sherry & Joel Mallin, Lester Marks, G. Allen Mebane, Isabel Moore, Donald R. Mullen Family Foundation, Carol & Davis Noble, Paula K. & James Ohaus, Judith & Donald Rechler Foundation, Speyer Family Foundation, David Teiger, Cricket & Marty Taplin, Alice & Thomas J. Tisch Foundation, Anabeth & John Weil, Mr. & Mrs. David K. Welles, and Virginia & Bagley Wright.
Thanks to S. P. Belcher, Inc., Forest City Ratner Companies, Kreisler Borg Forman, Thornton Tomasetti and Urban Foundation/Engineering LLC. Special thanks to Russell Andersen, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, David Berliner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Aine Brazil, David Berliner, Manhattan Parks Commissioner William Castro, Joseph J. Entler, Boris Feigenbaum, Drew Freeman, Nikola Gottschick, First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, Antony Mazzo, Craig Leech, Lenny Naar, Joseph Rechichi, Bob Sanna, Paula Sher, Clare Weiss and Andrea Zlanabitnig.
Marianne Boesky Gallery