Roxy Paine’s Ferment to be Installed in Kansas City Sculpture Park
Kansas City, MO, Jan 14, 2010
Stainless Steel ‘Dendroid’ Commissioned by Martin Friedman, Hall Family Foundation
A 56-foot stainless-steel sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist Roxy Paine will be permanently installed in the Kansas City Sculpture Park at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, beginning in early April. The work of art was commissioned by Martin Friedman, Hall Family Foundation consultant for the Museum’s Sculpture Park for 20 years, and was funded by the foundation.
Ferment was constructed at Paine’s studio in Treadwell, NY, and will be transported to the Museum. The sculpture will be installed at the site in April.
“This will be an inspiration for future generations of artists,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “It celebrates Kansas City as an incubator for young artists. Roxy Paine spent an early part of his career as an artist-in-residence here, so this is a tribute to a city that fosters young talent.”
In 2009, Martin Friedman was given as a retirement gift from the Hall Family Foundation an opportunity to commission a work by any artist he wished. He immediately chose Paine, whose work he had long admired. Friedman was involved in the Sosland family’s commission of Shuttlecocks (1994), the four gigantic badminton birdies distributed on the front and back lawns of the Nelson-Atkins. He began to follow Paine’s work during the last decade, as did Jan Schall, Sanders Sosland Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art.
“Roxy Paine is one of the most important young sculptors today,” said Schall. “Ferment will be the reigning monarch on that hillside. It is an outstanding addition to the collection that will enlighten, perplex and delight everyone who sees it.”
Paine has 24 dendroid sculptures in North America and around the world, including Israel and Australia. The celebrated sculptures are shining, stainless steel pipes, plates and rods that have been cut, bent and welded into branchlike structures. In the striking Conjoined (2007), first shown three years ago at Madison Square Park in New York and now installed at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, two 40-foot branching structures face one another with upper branches intertwined. Maelstrom, which gives viewers the sense of being immersed in a cataclysmic force of nature, was on view on the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from April through November in 2009.
Born in McLean, VA in 1966, Paine hitchhiked around the country at the age of 15, taking odd jobs and making drawings. He was a student at the Pratt Institute from 1986 to 1988, before taking a job with a Brooklyn fabrication shop, where he worked until he opened his studio in 1992. Paine has been praised for his supple, improvisational touch with a material as resistant as steel. He explores culturally infiltrated nature using various methods, sometimes combining painting and sculpture. Paine gravitates toward materials that are generally regarded as ugly or abhorrent. Dry rot, fungi, poison ivy and weeds have all been featured in his work.
“Roxy Paine asks the viewer to think about how nature and technology coexist,” said Schall. “The cycle of nature is to grow and then break down. Fungi are part of that process. They make available nutrients that allow new life to grow. This remarkable cycle provides an essential component in the framework for his art.”
The Museum will record the installation of Ferment in real time, and visual updates will be available at www.nelson-atkins.org/
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access and insight into its renowned collection of more than 33,500 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and new American Indian and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is a key educational resource for the region. The institution-wide transformation of the Nelson-Atkins has included the 165,000-square-foot Bloch Building expansion and renovation of the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins.
The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are Wednesday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Thursday/Friday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon–5 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free to everyone. For Museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit nelson-atkins.org/.