The Met Sprouts a Steel Roof Garden

04/29/2009 8:25 AM |

ea13/1240919077-paine.jpgDoes the image at right look familiar? That would be Roxy Paine‘s public installation that sprang to life fully grown (like Benjamin Button) in Madison Square Park in 2007, and featured a spectacular, iconic, majestic and somehow tragic pair of stainless steel trees whose outstretched branches barely touched while invisible cosmic forces tugged them apart. Yesterday, the native New Yorker took root in another of the city’s high-profile installation venues: the Metropolitan Museum rooftop. After Jeff Koons’ post-Pop, faux-ironic exhibition up there last year, Paine promises a significantly darker vision. The piece, entitled Maelstrom, features an ensemble of massive steel branches strewn in a 130-foot trail across the roof. Whether it’s a meditation on environmental ruin, cultural placelessness or the marginalization of America’s steel workers, we suggest seeing it before tourists make tree forts in Paine’s branches.