Work of Art: Askew
Roxy Paine
American
born 1966
Askew
2009
Stainless steel
H. 46 ft. 8 in. (14.23 m)
Gift in honor of Julia Jones Daniels, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Museum of Art (1998-2002) and member of the Board of Trustees (1983-1995)

Askew is part of a series of works by Roxy Paine that he describes as “dendroids”—arboreal or treelike forms with elaborate branching structures. Paine’s sculptures are hybrids in more than one sense of the word—inspired by “real” trees but never truthful depictions of actual species. His manmade versions of natural elements blur the boundaries between nature and culture, the natural and the artificial, machine-made and handmade. Paine has described his work as a “collision of the industrial world with the natural world” and an exploration of the human desire to order and control nature. The stainless steel surfaces of the work change dramatically with the light—mirroring, absorbing, and reflecting the tree’s environment, and turning the colors of the natural world into a brilliant metallic light show. 

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