Roxy Paine, One Hundred Foot Line @ National Gallery of Canada, Ontario, Canada
A monumental new sculpture now graces one of Ottawa’s most picturesque skylines, thanks to a new acquisition by the National Gallery of Canada. At 30.5 metres high, One Hundred Foot Line by critically-acclaimed contemporary artist Roxy Paine is his most ambitious sculpture to date in terms of upward scale. Overlooking the Ottawa River from Nepean Point, One Hundred Foot Line beautifully references Canada’s capital and its proximity to nature as well of industry in this region.
One Hundred Foot Line is from a series of tree sculptures called Dendroids that has earned American artist Roxy Paine significant international acclaim in recent years. Made from unyielding, stainless steel pipes used in manufacturing and heavy industry, One Hundred Foot Line is a masterful example of Paine’s intense fascination with trees and his technical ability to create sublime structures from industrial materials. For him, the Dendroids represent an attempt to observe trees as a language governed by rules and structures and reflect his thoughts on human encroachment on the environment.
The sculpture presents a meandering tree trunk that has lost not only its leaves but all of its branches. The tallest of Paine’s Dendroids to date, the work welds together dozens of stainless steel cylinders into a seamless whole. The National Gallery’s sculpture distinguishes itself from others in this series through its uniform shimmer which displays a calmly discerning monumentality. As a glossy line extending steadfastly upward, Paine’s latest offering is a bold statement on the relationship between nature and the “man made” in our contemporary world.
Roxy Paine’s One Hundred Foot Line is located on Nepean Point, a park owned by the National Capital Commission and which is just behind the National Gallery of Canada building at 380 Sussex Drive in Ottawa.