new-york

Roxy Paine, Distillation, 2010, stainless steel, glass, paint, pigment. Installation view. From the series “Dendroid,” 1998–.

Roxy Paine

James Cohan Gallery | Chelsea

Roxy Paine, Distillation, 2010, stainless steel, glass, paint, pigment. Installation view. From the series “Dendroid,” 1998–.

Distillation, 2010, the centerpiece of this show, belonged to Roxy Paine’s “Dendroid” series, begun in 1998, which New Yorkers may best remember for Maelstrom, the elaborate work with which he filled the rooftop sculpture garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009. In tune with its site above Central Park, that work was entirely arboreal, referring in all but its stainless steel substance to the forms and growth patterns of trees. Distillation, by contrast, began in James Cohan Gallery’s entrance hall with a regular cylinder, a shape clearly coded as artificial. Moreover, this cylinder was not a Euclidean or sculptural pure form but was fitted out with hatches, pressure valves, and pipes for the entry and exit of fluids or gases—a tank, then, and as such a machine part, or a material link in a chemical plant’s production line. One of those pipes, rising up from the

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