Farewell to Sarah Sze’s “Still Life with Path”

August 10, 2012  |   Feature
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Sarah Sze’s Still Life with Path (Model for Habitat), the intricate sculpture flanking the High Line’s pathway at West 21st Street, New York City closed in June. This temporary art project captured the imagination of visitors and quickly became a favorite feature. The installation consisted of interconnected elements that merge seamlessly to create a resting place for birds and butterflies at the High Line, while also complimenting visitors view of the NYC cityscape.

The great thing about temporary public art in an ongoing program is there is always a surprise and reason to come back to see something new.

Sarah Sze’s complex architectural sculpture rises up on either side of the pathway, forming a gateway that visitors can pass through. A temporary installation originally commissioned in 2011, Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat) extended through space like a perspective drawing in three dimensions. The artwork was simultaneously an observatory, an experiment, and a metropolis, evoking urban construction, scientific models, and attempts to capture nature in situ. It was a favorite with visitors and migrating songbirds. High Line staff would fill the sculpture with bird seed, fruit, and other foods to attract birds, and butterflies and other beneficial insects.