Roxy Paine: Second Nature
Roxy Paine/Second Nature is a mid-career survey exhibition which focuses on two distinct yet interrelated bodies of Paine’s work: monumental artmaking machines and naturalistic, botanical environments. These two types of work illustrate a reversal between the artist, whose repetitive processes are machine-like, and machines, which are programmed to emulate human artmaking. In both bodies of work, Paine subverts the viewer’s expectations and raises questions about perceptions of creativity. On the one hand, he builds machines that produce objects that one would expect to be made by hand; on the other, he makes art that appears to have been created by nature.
Paine’s computer-driven machines of sleek steel — programmed by the artist to create sculpture, paintings and ink drawings — challenge our notion of the role and importance of the artist’s hand in the making of a work of art. Ironically, the products of these machines are rich in gesture, nuance and playfulness — characteristics linked more closely to the human hand than mechanical production. In contrast to the “automated” work, installations made by Paine with his own hands include fields of mushrooms, plots of poison ivy, a weed-laden lawn, and a crop of poppies. Modeled and cast from actual botanical specimens, Paine’s tableaux of nature are as metaphorically charged as they are scientifically precise. Through his work, Paine allows us to explore a dynamic place where technology converges with nature and science.
Roxy Paine was born in 1966 in New York. He studied at the Pratt Institute in New York, and the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Galerie Thomas Shulte, Berlin, Germany (2001); James Cohan Gallery, New York (2001); Christopher Grimes Gallery, Los Angeles (2001); Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York (1999); Roger Bjorkholmen Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (1999). His work has been included in group exhibitions such as 2002 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art (2002); 01.01.01: Art Technological Times, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2001); From a Distance: Approaching Landscape, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2000); and Greater New York: New Art in New York Now, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (2000). In 1997, he received the Trustees Award for an Emerging Artist from the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that includes an introduction by Joseph D. Ketner, an interview with the artist by Lynn M. Herbert, and an essay on the artist’s work by Gregory Volk, New York art critic. Also included are color reproductions of all exhibited work and documentation of the artist’s career. The catalogue is distributed by D.A.P. (Distributed Art Publishers, New York).
The exhibition catalogue was supported by The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston.
The Roxy Paine/Second Nature exhibition tour will culminate at SITE Santa Fe after presentations at The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham Massachusetts (April 25 — July 14, 2002), and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (October 19, 2002 — January 12, 2003).