Friday, March 18, 2011

The Armory Show New York 2011 - Entry 11

When we approached the booth of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York the smell of soil and moisture filled the air. We entered the space through sheets of plastic, the type used in the fabrication of green houses and found a world of plants. At first we did not know what to make of the installation that occupied Feldman’s full booth. There were trees, lights, planter boxes and power cords everywhere. Watching our step, we wandered through the booth and found artist Sam Van Aken who gave us an overview of his work. Basically, Van Aken is grafting trees. In time he hopes to make that one perfect tree that will bear multiple species of fruit including peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines and apricots. Born in Reading Pennsylvania, in 1972 Van Aken received his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001. Since this time his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally receiving numerous honors including an Association of International Curator’s of Art award he is one of the recipients of the 2010 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award. Sam Van Aken is currently an Associate Professor and the Sculpture Program Director at Syracuse. For additional information on Van Aken’s work see his website at

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