OMG, at last the High Line Plinth has removed that hideous and tone-deaf Drone installation and replaced it with this gorgeous Pink Tree! I can’t stop squealing. While the tree looks red when photographed at certain angles, it is painted in shades of bright red and pink, and looks more pink in person. Let’s take a closer look.
For what is the third High Line Plinth commission, artist Pamela Rosenkranz created Old Tree (2023), 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. Created from 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.
In her artistic practice, 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) lives and works in Zürich, Switzerland.
Old Tree is installed on the Plinth that overlooks 10th Avenue at West 30th Street. Enter at the NW via Hudson Yards . the High Line or to the SE via a staircase (or the elevator mid-block on 30th Street) The sculpture will be on display through September 2024. Watch a video about how Old Tree was conceived, created and installed at This Link.