Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Maelstrom by Roxy Paine at The Met

Roxy Paine at The Met

Sunday afternoons are for The Met. Ambling around The Temple of Dendur, peering at the models from the Tomb of Meketre, admiring the Robert Adam Dining Room from Lansdowne House and, especially, checking out the installations up on the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden.

Each year, under the unwavering stare of Rodin's Les Trois Ombres, a different sculptor's work is showcased up there: in 2007 an installation of recent work by Frank Stella, in 08 three pieces of previously unseen work by Jeff Koons, including Balloon Dog (Yellow) which reflected my distorted image back at me like a fairground sideshow.

This year it's Maelstrom by Roxy Paine, a site specific piece from his Dendroid series, which explore systems such as vascular networks, tree roots, industrial piping, and fungal mycelia.

I first saw his work in Madison Square Park in 2007, when Conjoined, two oversized silver trees, reached branches towards the skies, fingering their way through the real trees.

Roxy Paine Madison Square Park
Image: Madison Square Park
This year he has gone a whole lot bigger: Maelstrom is a site specific 130-foot-long by 45-foot-wide stainless-steel sculpture. Intended to give the feeling of being caught in a cataclysmic force of nature, against the background of Central Park and the New York skyline, it succeeds in both being alien and natural.

Roxy Paine at The Met

The tree limbs were made elsewhere, and craned over the roof of The Met to be welded together on site. Do watch this fascinating video of its construction:

There are great flashes of humour up there too:

Roxy Paine at The Met

Due to end on October 25th, the installation's public viewing schedule has been extended through November 29th.
Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom

April 28, 2009–November 29, 2009 (weather permitting)
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden

ps Can you spot where I shot my blog header now?!