A Closer Look at “The Evolution of God”

High Line Art
Oct 31, 2014 2:53PM

Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas is known for his large-scale, site-specific sculptural installations that transform their environs into a vision of their own potential future. For the High Line, the artist presents The Evolution of God, a new, site-specific installation composed of thirteen abstract sculptures which punctuate the wild, self-seeded landscape of the High Line at the Rail Yards. Employing a unique mixture of cement and clay, Villar Rojas imbues his sculptures with a material destined to crumble while on view. 

The project extends the artist’s own traditional treatment of materials, by integrating organic elements such as seeds, vegetables, and other perishable components inspired by the natural landscape on the High Line as well as non-perishable items such as clothing, sneakers, and rope. Like many large-scale public artworks, the complexity of the piece presented a unique array of challenges for the installation team. 

The installation occurred over five weeks in July and early August. The crew consisted of the artist, three members of his studio team, and 10 installers hired by High Line Art. The process for making each cement cube varied, but all measure 46 x 46 x 46 inches and weigh roughly two tones. Seemingly sturdy, the sculptures will instead turn into living organisms, revealing the passage of time through vegetal sprouts and tectonic cracks.

Fueled by interests in disappearance and memory, Villar Rojas makes work that layers clashing temporalities, revealing ecological concerns and a fascination for the “deep time” history of our planet. His sculptures and installations resemble archeological sites where the future is simultaneously excavated and entombed. As his works incorporate a mixture of animal, mineral, and vegetal ingredients, their metamorphosis over time inherently reflects the material qualities of each of these elements. His sculptures exhibit an animal growth, decay, and repose; a vegetal sprouting and composting; and a mineral, tectonic cracking and settling.

The Evolution of God will be on view on the High Line at the Rail Yards through Summer 2015. 

Photos by Timothy Schecnk.

High Line Art