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Roxy Paine's Conjoined, 2007, installed in Madison Square Park, New York
|Training||College of Santa Fe, Pratt Institute|
Since 1990, Paine's work has been internationally exhibited and is included in major collections such as the De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, The Netherlands; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. His dendroid sculptures can be found at various museums and foundations including the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle; Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden; Montenmedio Arte Contemporaneo NMAC, Cadiz, Spain; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Roxy Paine lives and works in Brooklyn and Treadwell, New York.
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In his body of work, Roxy Paine mirrors natural processes, drawing increasingly on the tension between organic and man-made environments, between the human desire for order and nature's drive to reproduce. His highly detailed simulations of natural phenomena include an ambitious series of hand-wrought stainless steel trees, vitrines of mushroom and plant life in various states of decay and several large-scale machines designed to replicate creative processes. Collectively, his works demonstrate the human attempt to impose order on natural forces, depicting the struggle between the natural and the artificial, the rational and the instinctual. Paine has said, "I’m interested in taking entities that are organic and outside of the industrial realm, feeding them into an industrial system, and seeing what results from that force-feeding. The end results are a seamless containment of these opposites."
Paine is represented by the James Cohan Gallery.
Early work 
Paine began showing his work in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1990 and 1991 at an artist run collective called Brand Name Damages (which he helped to found) and he had his first solo exhibition at the short-lived Herron Test-Site in October 1992. His early work consisted of kinetic and time-based sculptures such as Viscous Pult, 1990, which consisted of a paint brush smearing ketchup, white paint and motor oil on the gallery space’s front window; and Displaced Sink, 1992, which had a leaking pipe in the ceiling dripping water on a tall stack of soap bars, leaving a pool of semi-liquid soap to collect on the gallery floor.
His next solo exhibition was at Ronald Feldman Gallery in 1995, and it included other kinetic works, but the central and most critically acclaimed work was a piece called Dinner of the Dictators, 1993–95, a vitrine enclosing the taxidermied favorite meals of infamous dictators, ranging from Genghis Khan and Adolf Hitler to Napoleon Bonaparte and Suharto. The research alone took eight months, and overall, the work took two years to produce, opening Paine to new approaches and processes in his work.
From this point onwards, Paine’s work separated into a few distinct but nevertheless related categories. The first involves naturalistic works: minutely precise reproductions of natural objects like mushrooms, leafy plants or poppies. A second category consists of machine-based works: he has devised a number of conceptually-challenging art-making machines, like the SCUMAK (Auto Sculpture Maker), 1998, PMU (Painting Manufacturing Unit), 1999–2000, and the Erosion Machine, 2005. Bridging the gap between the naturalistic and mechanized works, Paine also creates large-scale stainless steel trees and boulders of varying sizes (ranging from 8 – 50 feet in height).
Paine's vitrines and botanical works often feature replicas of plants that have been discovered as extremely poisonous or have been used by humans for experimental hallucinogenic or drug experiences. The living plants are cast and subsequently rendered in thermoset polymers, paint, lacquer, and epoxy, among other materials. Crop, 1997–98, shows a field of poppies, with ripened pods exposing the evidence of raw opium being readied for harvest. The piece embodies the shifting views of the beauty of a field of wild flowers and the grave potential of drug addiction. Amanita Muscaria Field, 2000, shows a field of psychoactive mushrooms that appear as if they are sprouting from the gallery floor. This field might present multiple readings: are these works a hallucinogenic vision on their own or do they represent the plant life that offers the possibility of arriving at that vision? Another related series of works is that of the Dead Amanita vitrines, lifelike mushrooms seem to be decaying under glass. The genus Amanita is a group of poisonous and psychoactive mushrooms that has some species that are among the deadliest if ingested by humans.
Another example is the leafy plant genus Datura, which has long been used as a poison and hallucinogen; many species are known by common names such as Hell’s Bells or Devil’s weed. Paine’s re-creation of various species of Datura take on a state of potential, presenting us with a deceptively simple plant that nonetheless contains complex molecules that can give rise to an altered state of consciousness.
Removing the artist's hand in the creative processs and replacing it with a computer program is the crux of Roxy Paine's machine-based works. His first art-making machine, Paint Dipper, 1997, employed a steel armature that continuously dipped canvases into a vat of paint over the course of time, creating works that collect latex paint stalactites along the bottom edge. SCUMAK (Auto Sculpture Maker), 1998–2001, melts plastic with pigments and periodically extrudes them onto a conveyor belt, creating bulbous shaped sculptures that are each unique.
PMU (Painting Manufacturing Unit), from 1999–2000, involves a metal painting arm that is programmed to expel white paint onto a canvas according to specific instructions programmed into the machine. The resulting works often can evoke landscapes or possibly layers of geological sediment.
Most recently, Paine introduced his Erosion Machine, 2005, which consists of a robotic arm that traces and cuts patterns into large blocks of stone. The course of the arm's movement is determined by data sets, such as weather conditions and school test results. The work suggests the corrosive effects of human imposition on the environment while at the same time represents the transformation of the banal into the beautiful.
About the SCUMAK (Auto Sculpture Maker), art historian Jonathan Fineburg wrote that "The beauty of the machine and the eccentricity of the results are also a paean to the romantic. Paine positions both his gardens and his machines at a fluid interface of man, nature, and science; they take the viewer to an intuitive experience of the liminal place at which scientists have arrived as they begin to redesign the human genome and connect living neurons with silicon chips."
Roxy Paine uses both mechanical means and the innate logic of natural forms to create his "Dendroid" tree-like sculptures. Paine's meticulous research and observation of a variety of tree species help him to understand the "language" of how a tree grows, and from there he creates fictional tree species that grow to a logic of their own. Paine has said:
I've processed the idea of a tree and created a system for its form. I take this organic majestic being and break it down into components and rules. The branches are translated into pipe and rod.
Employing the language that he has invented pertaining to each of these fictive species, Paine's trees are "grown" through a laborious process of welding together the cylindrical piping and rods of diminishing size. He has also described his aims with the Dendroids series by saying, "I have been seeking to expand the edges of the language, and send the work outward into those edges. Essentially, I am establishing the rules of a language, only to then break those rules."
The first of these dendroids was Impostor, 1999, now at the Wanas Foundation, in Knislinge, Sweden. Roxy has gone on to create twenty-five of these sculptures, including Bluff, 2002, which premiered in New York's Central Park during the Whitney Biennial in 2002, and the very ambitious Conjoined, 2007, recently on display in Manhattan's Madison Square Park (through December 31, 2007). Conjoined is a 40 ft tall by 45 ft wide sculpture of two trees whose branches cantilever in space and connect in mid air. Paine creates two different fictional tree species where each branch from one tree joins with a branch from the other. For the observer, it is unclear where one tree begins and the other ends. "Conjoined" was acquired in 2008 by and is on display at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
Paine's recent sculpture, Inversion, 2008, was installed in the Public Art Projects section of Art Basel 39, in Basel, Switzerland in June 2008. It was also part of FREEDOM: Den Haag Sculptuur 2008 in The Hague, Netherlands through August 2008.
Maelstrom, 2009, was on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from April 28 - November 29, 2009  and Graft, 2009 was installed at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, in the fall of 2009. When asked about Maelstrom Paine described it as existing on five "levels" at once:
"On one level, it’s a forest that has been downed by an unseen force—a force of nature or, perhaps, a force of man. I also want the sculpture to be the force itself, a swirling, churning force. The word 'maelstrom' actually has a Dutch root; it literally means 'grinding stream,' …The third state is trees in the state of becoming abstractions. There are areas with recognizable tree parts and then others where representation is stretching, breaking apart, and coalescing again… I want the fourth state of trance to be a pipeline in a factory that’s run amuck. This is getting back to the root of the material, so to speak, which is purely industrial. Here the piece is embracing its source. And, finally, the fifth state is that of a mental storm, or what I envision happens during an epileptic seizure."
Spring 2009, retrieved July 27, 2011</ref> Distillation, 2010, was on view at James Cohan Gallery in New York from October 16 - December 11, 2010, and One Hundred Foot Line, 2010, was installed permanently at the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, Ontario. Distillation, as described by Hilarie Sheets in The New York Times,
pushes the metaphoric content that underpins these sculptures to new extremes. It still uses arboreal forms, but they now mesh with other overtly defined branching systems: a vascular network of arteries and veins with two plump kidneys, mushroom colonies and their germinating mycelia, neuron bundles and taxonomic diagrams, and raw pipelines connected to steel tanks and industrial valves.
Ferment was permanently installed in April 2011 on the south lawn of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. Taking more than three years to produce, this 56-ft tall stainless steel dendroid sculpture, as described by Paine, "was trying to capture a churning, swirling force."
Selected exhibitions 
- Solo Exhibitions
Roxy Paine: Distillation, James Cohan Gallery, New York
Roxy Paine, Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden
Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden, New York, NY, April 28 - October 25, 2009
Roxy Paine, Madison Square Park, New York, NY, May 15 – December 31, 2007
Roxy Paine: PMU, curated by Bruce Guenther, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, February 25 – May 28, 2006
Roxy Paine: New Work, James Cohan Gallery, New York, January 14 – February 25, 2006
Roxy Paine: Second Nature, co-curated by Joseph Ketner and Lynn Herbert, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. Traveled to Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX; SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico; De Pont Foundation for Contemporary Art, Tilburg, Netherlands (April 2002 through January 2004)
Roxy Paine, James Cohan Gallery, New York, November 8 - December 22, 2002
Roxy Paine, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL, November 11, 2001 - January 27, 2002
Roxy Paine, Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, Germany, February 13 - April 20, 2001
Roxy Paine, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY, January 9 - February 13, 1999
Roxy Paine, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY, April 29 - June 3, 1995
Roxy Paine, Herron Test-Site, Brooklyn, NY, October 9 - November 8, 1992
- Group Exhibitions
FREEDOM, Den Haag Sculptuur, The Hague, The Netherlands
Public Art Projects, Art Basel 39, Basel, Switzerland
Art Machines/Machine Art, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland
Art Machines/Machine Art, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
Meditations in an Emergency, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, MI
A Brighter Day, James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY
Garden Paradise, curated by Lacy Davisson Doyle and Clare Weiss, The Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, New York, NY
Uneasy Nature, curated by Xandra Eden, Weatherspoon Art Museum, The University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
Ecstasy: In and About Altered States, organized by Paul Schimmel with Gloria Sutton, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Extreme Abstraction, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Material Terrain: A Sculptural Exploration of Landscape and Place, curated by Carla Hanzal, commissioned by Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO. Traveling to Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA; University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN; Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, TN; Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
The Flower as Image, Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Humlebaek, Denmark
Natural Histories: Realism Revisted, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ
Work Ethic, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, Traveled to the Des Moines Center for the Arts
UnNaturally, organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), curated by Mary-Kay Lombino. Traveled to Contemporary Art Museum, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; H & R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO; Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, Napa, CA; Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
The Whitney Biennial in Central Park, curated by Tom Eccles, organized by the Public Art Fund, New York in collaboration with The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Early Acclaim: Emerging Artist Award Recipients 1997-2001, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
Brooklyn!, Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Palm Beach, FL
Waterworks: U.S. Akvarell 2001, curated by Kim Levin, Nordiska Akvarellmuseet, Skarhamn, Sweden
01.01.01: Art in Technological Times, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
All-Terrain, Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA
Give and Take, Serpentine Gallery in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum
From a Distance: Approaching Landscape, curated by Jessica Morgan, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
Working in Brooklyn: Beyond Technology, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
5th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art: Sharing Exoticism, Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France
Greater New York: New Art in New York Now, PS1 Contemporary Art Center in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, New York
Best of the Season: Selected Work from the 1998-99 Gallery Season, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
Human/Nature, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
Garden of Sculptural Delights, Exit Art/The First World, New York, NY
Popular Mechanics, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
Out of Town: The Williamsburg Paradigm, Krannert Art Museum, Urbana-Champaign, IL
Roxy Paine and David Fasoldt, Brand Name Damages, Brooklyn, NY
- 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
- 1997 Trustees Award for an Emerging Artist, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
Public collections 
- De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, The Netherlands
- Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
- Israel Museum, Jerusalem
- Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
- National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
- National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
- The New School for Social Research, New York, NY
- Fundación NMAC, Cadiz, Spain
- Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
- Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
- University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
- Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden
- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
- Tsien, Billie http://bombsite.com/issues/107/articles/3261 “Roxy Paine” BOMB Magazine Spring 2009, retrieved July 27, 2011
- Volk, Gregory. 'Roxy Paine: Dreams and Mathematics' in Roxy Paine: Second Nature, 2002. Page 27, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston and Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
- Volk, Gregory. Page 28-29.
- Tan, Lin (2001). "Roxy Paine June 29 - August 11, 2001". Grand Arts, Kansas City, Missouri.
- Volk, Gregory. Page 33.
- Fineburg, Jonathan. Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being, Second Edition, 2000. Page 498-499, Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, New York, NY.
- Roxy Paine, interviewed by Allan McCollum. Bluff catalogue, 2002, Page 24. Public Art Fund and James Cohan Gallery.
- Neil, Jonathan T.D. 'Do Androids Dream of Making Art? Roxy Paine's Robot Artworks and Artificial Environments Ask Just that Question' in Art Review, August 2006.
- Tsien, Billie http://bombsite.com/issues/107/articles/3261 “Roxy Paine” BOMB Magazine Spring 2009, retrieved July 27, 2011
- Metropolitan Museum website
- James Cohan Gallery:Distillation
- National Gallery of Canada
- Sheets, Hilarie. 'Man of Steel's Industrial Web Mirroring Nature,' The New York Times, October 17, 2010.
- James Cohan Gallery
- Roxy Paine in Madison Square Park
- Public Art Fund: Whitney Biennial in Central Park, 2002
- National Gallery of Canada: Roxy Paine - One Hundred Foot Line, 2010
- Interview with Roxy Paine at ARTINFO.com
- Roxy Paine at NMAC Foundation
- Maelstrom at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
- Ken Johnson's review of Maelstrom, The New York Times
- Blake Gopnik's review of Graft, National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, The Washington Post
- Hilarie Sheet's feature 'Man of Steel's Industrial Web Mirroring Nature,' The New York Times.