Born 1975 in Seattle, WA
Lives and works in Los Angeles


Year created:
Oscar Tuazon, Partners, 2014

Oscar Tuazon, Partners, 2014
sugar maple, reinforced concrete, 318 x 132 x 120 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone, New York
Photo by Clements Photography and Design, Boston


Click images for larger view

318 x 132 x 120 inches

sugar maple tree, concrete
Exhibit Date: 
On View Oct 06, 2014 - Sep 01, 2015

No longer on view (May 2016)

For Partners, Los Angeles-based artist Oscar Tuazon built a rectilinear concrete sculpture joined to one of deCordova’s sugar maple trees. The human-made and natural elements combine to create a post-and-lintel support structure, a basic architectural form consisting of a horizontal beam carried by vertical posts. Tuazon often uses this form as a vehicle to explore his long-standing interest in the line between effective utilitarian forms and failed architectural experiments.

The title of the sculpture, Partners, implies the collaboration between nature and manufactured materials, each supporting the other in the creation of a practical architectural unit. The concrete sculpture reiterates the basic shape, orientation, and color of the tree, and appears to merge into the surrounding environment. Tuazon affirms, “On some level I hope the work disappears, that you might walk by it without noticing it immediately, maybe it’s something you only see in a double-take.” Despite this aim of understated harmony, the symbiosis between the organic and constructed elements of Partners is impermanent and fragile. As the tree grows, the concrete post will collapse.

Framed within the broader discussions concerning humankind’s role in environmental degradation, Partners suggests incompatibility between societal progress and the processes of the natural world. While these two different systems come together here to create an appearance of stability, the pillar is ultimately an incongruous graft onto the distinct order of the natural realm. Partners was commissioned for deCordova’s PLATFORM series—site-specific installations by emerging and mid-career artists from New England and across the United States that engage with deCordova’s unique landscape.

Tuazon studied at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, Studio Program, New York, NY, and at Cooper Union School of Architecture’s Architecture/Urban Studies Program, New York, NY (2002–2003). His work has been shown extensively in galleries and museums throughout the world, including at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. He has had solo exhibitions at The Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; The Ludwig Museum, Cologne; and Public Art Fund, Brooklyn Bridge Park, NY.