The Contemporary Austin Acquires Ai Weiwei’s Iron Tree Trunk for Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria

On view at the museum since 2017, the poignant, monumental sculpture—by an artist who is among the most influential artists in the world—is now part of the museum’s permanent collection, for visitors to appreciate on every visit to the museum’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park.

Acquisition of Iron Tree Trunk, 2015, is made possible through the generous contributions of more than seventy individuals and foundations in Austin and nationally.

Melba Whatley, Chairperson of the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation said, “What could be more wonderful than participating in the acquisition of Ai Weiwei’s singular work Iron Tree Trunk. We believe great art elevates us all. Through Ai Weiwei’s monumental sculpture we brush up against China, immigration, civil rights, nature and the awe-inspiring dimensions of genius. All Austinites can be proud that this community has matched the Marcus Foundation’s financial support for this most important addition to the city’s cultural landscape.”

The Contemporary also announces an extension to the loan of the artist’s Forever Bicycles, 2014, which will now remain on view through June 2019 at the Waller Delta downtown.

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree Trunk, 2015. Cast iron. 185 x 63 x 82 5/8 inches. Edition 1 of 3. Installation view, The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, Austin, Texas, 2017. Collection of The Contemporary Austin. Purchased with funds provided by the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, members of The Contemporary Austin Board of Trustees, and generous friends of the museum, 2018.3. Artwork © Ai Weiwei Studio. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photograph by Brian Fitzsimmons.