I went. I saw. From a distance it was an unimpressive lightening bolt of stainless steel stuck into the grass turf behind the gallery. But standing at the base of the sculpture and looking up…it was MUCH more interesting. Since the NGC apparently has plans for some outdoor garden around the National Gallery — hopefully this will include some tasteful seating at the base of this sculpture (stone slab?) to encourage visitors to come up close to admire the vertical perspective.
Here is a recent article about this 100′ sculpture…
OTTAWA, Oct. 21 /CNW/ – A monumental new sculpture now graces one of Ottawa’s most picturesque skylines, thanks to a partnership agreement between the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) and the National Capital Commission (NCC). At 30.5 metres high, One Hundred Foot Line by critically-acclaimed contemporary artist Roxy Paine, is his most ambitious sculpture to date in terms of upward scale. It is also the first acquisition by the Gallery of Paine’s work and represents a significant addition to its collection of Contemporary Art. For further information, please visit the NGC’s website at www.gallery.ca/roxypaine.
The realization of this installation has been almost two years in the making and confirms the Gallery’s commitment to presenting more contemporary art in public spaces. One Hundred Foot Line is located on Nepean Point, a park owned by the NCC and which is just behind the Gallery. The sculpture was purchased in 2010 following the selection of a location that would offer the greatest number of vantage points throughout the region. A series of intensive tests were also conducted to ensure the site’s suitability in terms of environmental conditions and public safety. Overlooking the Ottawa River from Nepean Point, One Hundred Foot Line beautifully references Canada’s capital and its proximity to nature as well as of industry in this region.
“Roxy Paine is one of the most exciting artists of his generation and his breathtaking outdoor sculptures are found in prominent public spaces around the world,” said NGC Director, Marc Mayer. “Roxy Paine’s One Hundred Foot Line will become a landmark destination for visitors to the National Capital Region. We are pleased to collaborate with the NCC in this magnificent addition to Nepean Point.”
One Hundred Foot Line is the third sculpture to be installed within the immediate vicinity of the NGC. An ambitious piece of public art, Paine’s work joins the equally monumental Maman by Louise Bourgeois which sits outdoors on the Gallery’s plaza; and upon reinstallation, Bill Vazan’s Black Nest, a large engraved stone piece by this important Canadian artist.
“One Hundred Foot Line will add a unique touch to Nepean Point, right in the heart of Canada’s Capital Region. The unveiling of Roxy Paine’s stainless-steel sculpture is an example of the importance of the role art plays in transforming public spaces,” said NCC CEO, Marie Lemay. “We welcome this opportunity to work with the National Gallery of Canada to bring public art to the Capital.”â€¬
Intimately connected with this new installation is the NGC’s interest in creating an elaborate and engaging sculpture garden in and around the NGC’s exterior space; preliminary discussions are currently underway with landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander and other stakeholders.
About One Hundred Foot Line (2008)
One Hundred Foot Line is one of a series of sculptures called Dendroids that has earned Roxy Paine significant international acclaim in recent years. Made from unyielding, stainless steel pipes used in manufacturing and heavy industry, One Hundred Foot Line is a masterful example of Paine’s intense fascination with trees and his technical ability to create sublime structures from industrial materials. For him, the Dendroids represent an attempt to observe trees as a language governed by rules and structures and reflect his thoughts on human encroachment on the environment.
One Hundred Foot Line presents a meandering tree trunk that has lost not only its leaves but all of its branches. The tallest of Paine’s Dendroids to date, the work welds together dozens of stainless steel cylinders into a seamless whole. The National Gallery’s sculpture distinguishes itself from others in this series through its uniform shimmer which displays a calmly discerning monumentality. As a glossy line extending steadfastly upward, Paine’s latest offering is a bold statement on the relationship between nature and the “man made” in our contemporary world.
About Roxy Paine
Roxy Paine was born in 1966 in New York and studied at both the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico and the Pratt Institute in New York. Since 1990, his work has been internationally exhibited and is included in major collections such as De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, The Netherlands; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. His tree sculptures can be found at various museums and foundations, including the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA; Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden; Montenmedio Arte Contemporaneo NMAC, Cadiz, Spain; and the St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO. Roxy Paine lives and works in New York.