Monika Sosnowska: Fir Tree

About the Exhibition

This 40-foot-tall steel sculpture by Monika Sosnowska marks the threshold between the urban environment of midtown Manhattan and the landscape of Central Park. The artist has used pulleys, cranes, and other heavy machinery to manipulate a spiral staircase to resemble an evergreen tree. No longer climbable, its stairs cascade around the central shaft of the sculpture like weighted tree limbs. The ribbon-like railing forms a twisting red line against the black silhouette of the sculpture. As if piercing the pavement with industrial force, Fir Tree (2012) conjures an image of skyscrapers with steel roots below the city.

For more than ten years, Sosnowska’s work has explored our psychological relationship to the built environment, creating complex installations that alter our perceptions of familiar objects and spaces. Based in Warsaw, Sosnowska often works with architectural elements associated with Eastern Europe during the Soviet period. Fir Tree echoes the industrial steel staircases found on the exterior walls of Polish housing blocks. Here, this once-functional object refuses to serve its intended purpose. Instead it becomes an animated and outsized metaphor, testing the bounds of a familiar form as it reaches toward the urban skyline.

This exhibition is curated by Andria Hickey.



Doris C. Freedman Plaza

Central Park, 60th Street & 5th Avenue

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About the Artist

Monika Sosnowska (b. 1972, Ryki, Poland) lives in Warsaw. She studied at the Schola Posnaniensis (1992-93) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan (1993-98), and she completed a post-graduate program at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (1999-2000). In addition to representing Poland in the Venice Biennale (2007) she has twice been invited to present her work in the Biennale’s Arsenale exhibition (2011, 2003). Select solo exhibitions include: Kunsthalle Nürnberg (2011); Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, Mexico (2011); 2011 Kurimanzutto, Mexico City (2011); Licthof/Atrium Project 1, K21 Düsseldorf (2010); Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2010); Herzliya Museum Tel Aviv, Israel (2010); Schaulager, Basel (2008); and Museum of Modern Art, Projects Series (2006).