Following up two recent, crowd-pleasing, outdoor exhibits at Madison Square Park in 2007 and the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009, Roxy Paine takes his new stainless steel installation indoors at the James Cohan Gallery. Distillation is a massive, continuous work that sprawls throughout several rooms of the gallery starting at the entrance and maneuvering its way around corners and through walls to the offices in the back.
Distillation, like much of Paine's other works, "explore[s] collisions between the natural world and the industrial," (from show's press release). The metallic structure is composed of a tank, valves, vessels, and what seems to be miles of pipes, alongside silvery tree branches, mushrooms, veins, and kidneys. The piece is an amalgamation "of structures that refer to vascular, neural, taxonomic, arboreal, mycological and industrial systems." According to the show's press release, Distillation serves as a "metaphor for the artist's mental process." The New York-born and based Paine "re-examines alchemical methods to create a meditation of mystical industrialism." In describing his process, Paine likens it to "the fermentation of bundles of information, then the extraction of discrete compounds from the resultant mash, which when fractionated, overlaid and recombined become a transmutation from the familiar to the entirely new."
Also on view in the front gallery is Oscillation, a wall installation consisting of life-like recreations of "botanical species and eukaryotic organisms" that look as if they are sprouting from the wall. From Paine's Replicant series, the twenty-five different fungi represented in the work are deemed "undesirable and toxic" since they are of the "psychoactive" and "poisonous" variety—so keep a safe distance from these 'shrooms. Learn more at Jamescohan.com. Through December 11th.