Park update for May 18: The Spur and Coach Passage at 30th Street and 10th Avenue are currently closed.
For the third High Line Plinth commission, Rosenkranz presents Old Tree, a bright red-and-pink sculpture that animates myriad historical archetypes wherein the tree of life connects heaven and earth. The tree’s sanguine color resembles the branching systems of human organs, blood vessels, and tissue, inviting viewers to consider the indivisible connection between human and plant life. Old Tree evokes metaphors for the ancient wisdom of human evolution as well as a future in which the synthetic has become nature. On the High Line—a contemporary urban park built on a relic of industry—Old Tree raises questions about what is truly “artificial” or “natural” in our world. Made of man-made materials and standing at a height of 25 feet atop the Plinth, it provides a social space, creating shade while casting an ever-changing, luminous aura amid New York’s changing seasons.
Pamela Rosenkranz creates sculptures, paintings, videos, and installations that reflect on the human need to anthropomorphize our surroundings in order to understand them. In doing so, she investigates the codes through which people give meaning to the natural world. Her projects center synthetic materials created in the image of nature: a swimming pool filled with viscous fluid, collections of mineral water bottles filled with silicone, or a kitchen faucet streaming water colored with E131 “sky blue” synthetic dye. Color is paramount for Rosenkranz, who employs fabricated colors intended to reflect unblemished and idealized nature. She elaborates on the condition of the body as a malleable system. Questioning the worldview that centers human beings, Rosenkranz addresses our relentless attempts to domesticate and tame the other living beings around us, as well as our own bodies.
Pamela Rosenkranz (b. 1979, Uri, Switzerland) lives and works in Zürich, Switzerland. She has held solo exhibitions at institutions including Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria (2021); Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2017); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2012); and Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland (2010). Her work was featured in recent group exhibitions at the Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, Germany (2021); Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California (2021); Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2020); Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia (2019); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (2019); and Museo Espacio, Aguascalientes, Mexico (2016). She has participated in major international group exhibitions including the Okayama Art Summit, Japan (2019) and the 15th Biennale de Lyon, France (2019). In 2015, she presented the Swiss Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. Her work is featured in the collections of major institutions around the world, including K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany.
Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation Inc., and Charina Endowment Fund. Program support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Scintilla Foundation. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.
Major support for the High Line Plinth is provided by members of the High Line Plinth Committee and contemporary art leaders committed to realizing major commissions and engaging in the public success of the Plinth: Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, Elizabeth Belfer, Suzanne Deal Booth, Fairfax Dorn, Steve Ells, Kerianne Flynn, Hermine Riegerl Heller and David B. Heller, J. Tomilson and Janine Hill, The Holly Peterson Foundation, Annie Hubbard, Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, Amanda and Don Mullen, Douglas Oliver and Sherry Brous, Mario Palumbo and Stefan Gargiulo, Susan and Stephen Scherr, Susan and David Viniar, Olivia Walton, and Vivian and James Zelter.
Pamela Rosenkranz, Old Tree, is made possible, in part, by support from Miguel Abreu Gallery, Karma International, and Sprüth Magers; with thanks to fabrication studio NatureMaker.