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American Artist Roxy Paine Installs "Inversion" in the Billy Rose Art Garden at the Israel Museum
US artist Roxy Paine, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, near his huge huge stainless steel, inverted tree sculpture called 'Inversion' in the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The piece weighs some 4-tons and was shipped to Israel in containers and then its branches welded into position with the help of cranes. EPA/JIM HOLLANDER.

JERUSALEM.- James Cohan Gallery announces the installation of Inversion (2008), by American artist Roxy Paine, as part of the Israel Museum's Billy Rose Art Garden this past January 2011. Inversion was acquired by The Israel Museum, Jerusalem through a gift by Jill and Jay H. Bernstein, New York, to the American Friends of the Israel Museum.

Rising 42-feet tall and hand-constructed out of over 7,000 metal plate, pipe, and rod stainless steel elements, Inversion was the first of Paine’s sculptures from his Dendroid series in which the dendritic form appears upside down, all of its weight resting on the smallest and finest limbs. This work was the first in the series to not require a foundation and thus proved to be a breakthrough in the artist’s development of subsequent works such as Maelstrom (2009), exhibited at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (April 25 – November 29, 2009); Neuron (2010), exhibited at the 17th Biennale of Sydney (May 12 – August 1, 2010); and Distillation (2010), shown to great acclaim at James Cohan Gallery last fall (October 15 – December 11, 2010). These works rest directly on the ground, a discovery which opened up new avenues for the artist to explore the rules and codes defining the abundant possibilities of dendritic forms as they appear throughout nature, science and industry.

Paine has said of Inversion: “It could be read as being emblematic of, and a monument to, how much we have altered the natural world. It could also be read as a meditation on humanity’s need to distill every entity into its component parts and then restructure them.” Paine’s long interest in the juxtaposition of nature and industry has brought form to an extensive body of work. Through his Replicants (exacting simulations of fungi and plant-life), his art-making machines, and his large-scale stainless steel Dendroids, Paine explores the collision between the man-made world that we can control and nature’s world that we cannot.

Inversion was first exhibited at the Public Art Projects section of Art Basel 39, June 4 – 8, 2008, in Basel, Switzerland, and was presented in collaboration with Galerie Jablonka, Cologne. Inversion was also included in the exhibition “FREEDOM: American Sculpture” at Den Haag Sculptuur/The Hague Sculpture from June 15 through August 31, 2008.

The Israel Museum’s Billy Rose Art Garden, where Inversion is installed, is counted among the finest outdoor sculpture settings of the 20th century. An Eastern landscape combined with an ancient Jerusalem hillside designed by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, the garden serves as the backdrop for the Israel Museum’s display of the evolution of the modern western sculptural tradition. Inversion stands alongside works by modern masters including Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, and David Smith, as well as more recent site-specific commissions by such artists as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Mark Dion, James Turrell, and Micha Ullman.

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