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December 8, 2010

Paula Hayes' Botanical Sculptures at MoMA, NYC

Paula Hayes, Nocturne of the Limax maximus
MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Through February 28, 2011


PAULA HAYES. Installation view at MOMA. 2010

PAULA HAYES. Installation view at MOMA. 2010

PAULA HAYES. Installation view at MOMA. 2010

PAULA HAYES. Installation view at MoMA. 2010
PAULA HAYES. Installation view of Nocturne of the Limax maximus (Slug at left. Egg at right) at The Museum of Modern Art. 2010. Installation: cast acrylic, hand-blown glass, cnc-milled topographical wall and ceiling attachment, full-spectrum lighting, and tropical planting. Commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Courtesy of the Artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery. © Paula Hayes. Photo: Jason Mandella

The Museum of Modern Art presents an installation of two sculptures by New York artist and landscape designer PAULA HAYES (b. 1958). The installation NOCTURNE OF THE LIMAX MAXIMUS is on view in the MoMA’s lobby through February 28, 2011. The work includes a fifteen-foot-long, wall-mounted horizontal sculpture called Slug, and a free-standing floor-to-ceiling structure titled Egg. .

The installation is organized by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, in collaboration with the artist.


Since the 1990s, PAULA HAYES has produced botanical sculptures—organically shaped vessels made from blown glass, silicone, or acrylic, and filled with a rich variety of plant life—that expand upon the classic terrarium, both through their imaginative containers and the microcosmic universes within. For the MoMA project, Hayes began thinking about the concepts of fertility and fertilization. While working on her initial drawings, she was inspired by a documentary film portraying the intricate mating ritual of the Limax maximus, or Leopard slug (which takes place in early summer, usually during the night), and the fluid columnar forms that emerge during the process of fertilization. Slug and Egg are made in cast acrylic and hand-blown glass, and filled with vegetation. Aided by built-in lighting and weekly maintenance, these “living artworks” bring nature directly into the Museum as they challenge conventional definitions of sculpture.


Recent posts by Paula Hayes on INSIDE/OUT: A MoMA/MoMA PS1 Blog:

"In the Bathysphere"

"Getting to Z (Another Kind of A): "Egg" Acrylic-Casting Process"


The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York City, NY 10019

11-17-2010 > 02-28-2011

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