A "Paine" full year.
Posted by Casey on May 21, 2009 - 2:21pm

Yes, really bad pun intended, for it has been one year, for some a long year and for others a seemingly short one, but it has been a year since Roxy Paine installed Conjoined.

Conjoined is the unmistakable and unmissable sculpture situated on the far side of the Modern's pond (which I urge museum goers to take a closer look at). Conjoined is a 40 ft tall by 45 ft wide sculpture of two trees whose branches cantilever in space and connect in mid air.

I will admit that the last time I actually walked out across the lawn to inspect Conjoined was when Paine was in installing the giant. At that time I was completely overwhelmed with Paine's tedious hand, the intricacy and sheer number of the welds was overwhelming. A year later the piece still proves masterful, as I sat on the lawn I was overwhelmed in a different manner, the longer I gazed at Conjoined that harder it was to distinguish it from an actual tree (I mean once you can overlook the shiny exterior, and I have seen trees painted silver before. An example for you Fort Worth dwellers: the fantastic house on the corner of Lubbock and W. Bowie St.)

Tangent aside, Conjoined is a true intersection of nature and industrialization. When I first approached Conjoined this afternoon, I was amazed to see two birds nestled among its branches as if nothing were amiss about the stainless-steel network. As the fourth outdoor installation at the Modern, the gorgeous glint of lightening should not be missed when visiting.

This Paine obsession has been brought on with unveiling of Paine's most recent work. The following video is of the installation of Maelstrom, a 130-foot long centerpiece for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual roof top garden exhibition.

Much like Conjoined, Maelstrom appears to be a swirling entanglement of stainless-steel pipe that viewers can walk through giving them a sense of being immersed in the midst of a force of nature. Set against the backdrop of Central Park and the New York City skyline, Maelstrom continues the interplay between man-made and nature.

Maelstrom is Paine's largest and most ambitious piece in the Dendroid series. This Dendroids series, of which Conjoined and Maelstrom are a part of, is based upon systems such as tree roots, industrial piping and vascular networks. This series, embodies man's complex relationship with nature. The manufactured organic nature of these industrial pieces proves to be philosophically resounding in a world with our continuing conservational and environmental dilemmas.

[note: Check out a series of photographs taken during the installation of our Conjoined on our flickr stream]