The High Line’s Untamed Final Stretch to Host Adrián Villar Rojas Sculptures

Adrián Villar Rojas, Mi familia muerta' ('My dead family') (2009), the End of the World Biennial in Argentina. Photo: Carla Barbero, courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery.
Adrián Villar Rojas, Mi familia muerta' ('My dead family') (2009), the End of the World Biennial in Argentina. Photo: Carla Barbero, courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery.

As the final stretch of the High Line prepares for its scheduled opening in the fall, artist Adrián Villar Rojas is creating a series of sculptures for the untamed elevated park that are meant to slowly disintegrate over time, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Curator Cecilia Alemani believes that Rojas’s work will be right at home within “the wild and delicate landscape of the High Line,” telling the WSJ that “his work will create an interesting dialogue” with the natural vegetation “that grows among the rocks.”

While some describe the artist’s large-scale clay and concrete works as ruins, Rojas told the WSJ that he sees his artwork’s gradual deterioration as a sign that “the material is breathing.”

The northern section of the High Line, New York City (2009). Photo: Jim Henderson courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The northern section of the High Line, New York City (2009).
Photo: Jim Henderson courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Unlike the carefully manicured gardens and architectural features found on the public portions of the High Line, the section above 30th Street bordering the West Side Rail Yards will only include a walkway suspended above the weeds and plants that have naturally grown up through the tracks over the years.

The High Line always had hopes of incorporating the four block spur between 30th and 34th Street into the park, but the organization did not gain the rights to the space until 2011. Construction began the following year. The Rojas installation will be the second artwork commissioned for the space, following Carol Bove’s Caterpillar, accessible only through guided tours from May 2013 through last month.

The display at the High Line, on view through September 2015, will be the Argentina-based Rojas’s first major solo exhibition in New York, although his work was included in “Expo 1” at MoMA PS1 last year, and the 2012 New Museum triennial. He won the Benesse Prize for a promising young artist at the Venice Biennale in 2011, and had a solo show at London’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery when it opened.


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