The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum sculpture garden is located on the east side of the building, featuring sculptures by Roxy Paine, Steve Miller and Jonathan Prince.
Roxy Paine’s Containment 1 (2009) is an intricate, vein-like structure made of stainless steel. Paine is a sculptor who uses mechanical means and the innate logic of natural forms to create his “Dendroid” tree-like sculptures. His meticulous research and observation of a variety of tree species help him to understand the “language” of how a tree grows, and from there he creates fictional tree species that grow to a logic of their own. The sculpture was donated to the Broad MSU by founding donors Eli and Edythe Broad.
Sloth Pieta (2012) is an extension of American sculptor Steve Miller’s project, “Saude do Planeta,” in which Miller collaborated with the Brazil’s Instituto Goeldi to create a series of x-ray images of animals celebrating Brazil’s biodiversity, the sculpture depicts a female sloth with her offspring. The Brazilian sloth is suffering from air pollution and habitat loss, metaphorically highlighting a planet being sacrificed to mankind’s continued industrial progress. The black and white x-ray image has been laminated between sheets of glass.
Vestigial Block (2011) by Jonathan Prince is made of Cor-Ten and stainless steel. Known for his work in African and Cambrian black granite, Prince has, over the past two years, broadened his visual inquiry through a vanguard technique of “tearing steel.” He begins by reducing the steel to its most elemental state: the more basic the shape, in his words, “the more past and future seem indistinguishable.” In the TORN STEEL series, represented in the permanent collection by Prince’s Vestigial Block, the artist creates the tears by laboriously hand-working the steel to create an undulating and softly reflective surface. The stainless steel lies in stark contrast to the un-worked, oxidized steel, positing a narrative of a form still in evolution.