A fiery tree has emerged on Manhattan’s High Line Plinth at the intersection of Tenth Avenue and 30th Street. Created by Swiss artist Pamela Rosenkranz, the pink and red sculpture is surely going to become an Instagram hit — the blazing colors of the steel and polymer tree sculpture against a blue sky are particularly delightful.

But for the bigger news, in my opinion — New Yorkers can rejoice that Sam Durant’s terrible drone sculpture is finally gone from the High Line. Durant never seems to take responsibility for material that anyone finds offensive; I’ve interviewed him twice about projects that were “problematic,” as they say, and both times he’s shirked responsibility — frankly, as a journalist, I’m going to assume he just doesn’t care. In this case, he hoisted a drone at this spot in what was a masterclass in insensitivity toward a multicultural city, in which many of us have family members living in places where the fear of drones is a daily occurrence. But moving on … 

In Rosenkranz’s new 25-foot-tall work the metaphors may be leaden and cliche, but at least it looks attractive from many directions — you can even clearly see the tree ablaze with color (the artist specifically characterizes it as “pink and red”) from the viewing platform on the High Line at 17th Street. 

So let’s just ignore that the work is light on “content,” because it’s warm and beautiful outside and photos are going to look great.

Pamela Rosenkranz, “Old Tree” (2023) (photo courtesy High Line Art)

Pamela Rosenkranz’s Old Tree continues at the High Line Plinth (30th Street and Tenth Avenue, Hudson Yards, Manhattan) through September 2024.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.