‘Old Tree’ the Spring 2023 Commission by Pamela Rosenkranz Now on View on The High Line Plinth




Pamela Rosenkranz: Old Tree is the winner – on view Mayf 2023

The High Line would like you to share your thoughts on 80 artists’ proposals for the third and fourth High Line Plinth commissions to open in 2022 and 2024.

And the winner is ~ Old Tree, a 25-foot-tall sculpture in vivid pink and red, by artist Pamela Rosenkranz. Located on the High Line at 30th Street and 10th Avenue, the Plinth is a landmark destination for major public art that features a rotating program of new monumental commissions.

Opening to the public in May 2023, Pamela Rosenkranz’s Old Tree follows Simone Leigh’s Brick House in 2019 and Sam Durant’s Untitled (drone) in 2021. Old Tree was one of 80 artworks proposed for the third and fourth commissions, shared with the public online in 2020.

Old Tree will bring to life mythical archetypes of the tree of life connecting heaven and earth. The tree’s color resembles the branching systems of human organs, blood vessels, and tissue, inviting viewers to contemplate the indivisible connection between humans and nature.

Photo credit: Timothy Schenck

For the third High Line Plinth commission, Rosenkranz presents Old Tree, a bright red-and-pink sculpture that animates myriad historical archetypes wherein the tree of life connects heaven and earth. The tree’s sanguine color resembles the branching systems of human organs, blood vessels, and tissue, inviting viewers to consider the indivisible connection between human and plant life. Old Tree evokes metaphors for the ancient wisdom of human evolution as well as a future in which the synthetic has become nature. On the High Line—a contemporary urban park built on a relic of industry—Old Tree raises questions about what is truly “artificial” or “natural” in our world. Made of man-made materials and standing at a height of 25 feet atop the Plinth, it provides a social space, creating shade while casting an ever-changing, luminous aura amid New York’s changing seasons.

Pamela Rosenkranz creates sculptures, paintings, videos, and installations that reflect on the human need to anthropomorphize our surroundings in order to understand them. In doing so, she investigates the codes through which people give meaning to the natural world. Her projects center synthetic materials created in the image of nature: a swimming pool filled with viscous fluid, collections of mineral water bottles filled with silicone, or a kitchen faucet streaming water colored with E131 “sky blue” synthetic dye. Color is paramount for Rosenkranz, who employs fabricated colors intended to reflect unblemished and idealized nature. She elaborates on the condition of the body as a malleable system. Questioning the worldview that centers human beings, Rosenkranz addresses our relentless attempts to domesticate and tame the other living beings around us, as well as our own bodies.

Rosenkranz’s artwork will be on view through September 2024. Old Tree opens to the public just ahead of the completion of the Moynihan – High Line Connector later in spring 2023. The location of the Plinth on the High Line’s Spur is adjacent to the forthcoming Connector pathway that will lead visitors over 30th Street and Dyer Avenue towards Moynihan Train Hall.

Check out some of the submissions above and below.


Each week, The High Line will feature one of the eighty artists’ proposals on Instagram, or you can check out all eighty on The High Line website.

Click on the artworks you would like to see on The Plinth, read about the artist, and let the High Line Art’s curatorial team know why you think that particular piece should be next-up on The Plinth.

Your thoughts and suggestions will help in their selection for a shortlist of artists ~ and you will get to see some really creative and wonderful work.

Click Here to view all 80 artists’ proposals for the third and fourth High Line Plinth Commission, and share you thoughts.

The High Line Plinth’s inaugural installation, Simone Leigh: Brick House will be on view to the Spring of 2021.