Born in 1979 in Altdorf, Switzerland, and currently living and working in Zurich, Pamela Rosenkranz is a contemporary Swiss artist known for her multimedia works that explore the intersection of art, science, and philosophy. Her multidisciplinary approach and thought-provoking explorations make her an influential figure in contemporary art, engaging audiences with her unique perspectives on human existence, culture, and the environment.
Rosenkranz's Pink Tree Artwork Goes on Exhibition in New York
Rosenkranz's artworks often incorporate various materials and mediums, including sculpture, installation, painting, photography, and video. Her works frequently explore themes related to the human body, identity, consumer culture, and the impact of technology on our lives.
In some of the works of the Zurich-based Rosenkranz, who is also known for her interest in science and biology, she explores topics such as human biology, neurology, and the relationship between humans and the natural world.
At the focal point of the Spur on the High Line in Manhattan’s West Side, New York, Rosenkranz showcases a bright red and pink sculpture sitting on the High Line Plinth within the space that incorporates urban revitalization, green spaces, and other public art.
Made of steel branches coated with a glossy paste, this 25-foot (nearly 8-meter) bright luminous coral pink ‘tree’ starkly contrasts with the relaxed hues of its surroundings. It colorfully stands out against the backdrop of the built-up and towering vicinages of the High Line, which are made of concrete and glass.
A Sculpture Symbolic of the Connection Between Heaven and Earth
In line with her artistic propensity, Rosenkranz's synthetic luminous red and pink ‘tree’ recreates the impression of the human body, complete with the blood vessels in the human body’s circulatory system. The Old Tree replicates the systems of human organs, blood vessels, and tissue.
Depending on the time of the day, the art piece may appear to take different hues when viewed from different angles as one moves around it.
Pamela Rosenkranz says of her art:
“This color has a history of being quite attractive. But I’m looking for a dissonance, something that also awakes or repulses.”
Rosenkranz's piece of art attempts to recreate the mythical essence of the ‘tree of life’ that connects heaven and earth. This is an archetype that is common to many religions, folklore, and mythologies, in which case the Tree of Life usually represents the source of life. Yet, by others, it is viewed as the cycle of life and death.
Rosenkranz's tree sculpture invites the viewers to reflect on the relationships between the natural and the artificial and evokes a feeling of a future in which synthetic becomes natural. With it, visitors to the High Line get the impression of a sort of renewal where the built industrial structure assumes new life within the public green space in which it sits.
The Swiss Artist's Sculptures Often Deploy Synthetic Materials
The Swiss avant-garde artist is known to use synthetic materials to create her installations and artworks. Rosenkranz uses such materials to imitate nature, reinforcing the notion of the connection between the modern world with its factitious elements and nature.
Old Tree also plays to this tune. It incorporates synthetic materials recreating the essence of life surrounded by an urban jungle that is dotted with elements of nature in the form of trees and greenery. This, in a way, attempts to showcase a modern world in which nature blends with synthetic elements.
Essentially, her artistic work examines the ways through which people assign meaning to elements of the natural world that surround them, with respect to anthropomorphism.
In yet another of her notable artistic series titled 'Skin Paintings' Rosenkranz creates large-scale canvases using pigments derived from artificial skin tones and cosmetics. These paintings examine the questions of perception, beauty standards, and the commodification of the human body.
Rosenkranz's Partnerships in Her Other Previous Works
Rosenkranz, who was the winner of the third High Line Plinth commission, which is a rotating program for the public display of extraordinary artworks showcased at the location, will have the Old Tree on view for 18 months in a showing which runs from spring of 2023 (May 2023) to fall of 2024.
Her artwork, which was inspired by another artist, Louise Bourgeois’ sculptures of giant spiders, was selected from eighty other proposals that were submitted by artists from forty countries across the world. It was selected by an international advisory committee made up of artists, curators, and art professionals.
She has also, in times past, partnered in her other works with ideologists from the Speculative Realism movement, which is a philosophical caucus that began in 2007.
Previously, her other artworks have been exhibited internationally, including at prestigious venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Swiss Institute in New York, the Kunsthalle Basel, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
You can view her latest installation, Old Tree at New York City’s High Line Square and get to experience the surrealness of beauty enshrined in dissonance as is encapsulated by the artwork.