It could be said that “new begets new” at the NCMA. The construction of our new museum building not only necessitates fresh casework and specifically designed lighting systems, but it also has provided us with a unique opportunity to commission original works of art for inclusion in our building and the Museum Park. One of the most striking sculptures, soon to be installed in the new building’s sculpture garden, is Roxy Paine’s Askew (see press release). Made of stainless steel and reaching a staggering height–taller than our new building!–of 43 feet, Askew closely mimics the shape of a barren tree, with snaking silver limbs and entwined branches. Paine refers to these sculptures as “dendroids,” tree-like forms that highlight a confluence between nature and industry.
Askew marks a collaboration between Paine and NCMA’s curatorial and planning departments. Paine visited the Museum in April of 2007 to get a feel for the environment and prepare for his site-specific work. He brought his ideas back to his rural studio in Treadwell, New York, where he built the sculpture in sections, over the course of a year. (Check out this Flickr set for more images.) In November, the sections will travel to the Museum, and Paine will assemble the piece in its permanent location in the gardens surrounding the new building.
In case you can’t wait until later this year to experience Paine’s work, check out this recent installation, entitled Maelstrom, currently adorning the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (Catch the artist talking about his work in this great audio slideshow, as well.)