Wednesday September 12, 2012

By Chris Newbound

Having frequently visited many of the fine museums in the Berkshires, I’ve often wondered about certain familiar pieces of art, whether a painting from one of the longstanding collections or a sculpture serving as a landmark to the museums themselves.

Inspired by Timothy Cahill’s award-winning column, "Pri vate Tour," in Berkshire Living magazine, which also looked more closely at a single piece of art, I thought -- why not do the same, only with a more unencumbered approach?

Or, in other words, with almost entirely no art history or visual art experience background and with very little or no previous information about the piece I decided to focus on -- much as, I suspect, most viewers who visit these wonderful museums are doing every day.

I decided to start with the upside down trees outside the entryway of Mass MoCA in North Adams, an installation project called "Tree Logic" that I’ve long wondered about. It was conceived by Natalie Jeremijenko and installed in 1999, the same year Mass MoCA first opened its doors.

Here is what I saw and some of what I found out when I revisited the trees some 13 years later.


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