Painful Arc II (Shoulder High), Baseera Khan

Working closely with artist Baseera Khan, we fabricated Painful Arc II (Shoulder High), a monumental archway made of inscribed tablets located on NYC’s High Line.

In collaboration with Baseera and their team, we approached the fabrication of Painful Arc II (Shoulder High) with a particular focus on durability, ensuring that the installation would withstand both the elements and the high traffic of the High Line. We carefully selected materials that would hold up to and interact with the outside environment, including repurposed granite and a stunning custom-colored slate gray solid surface material provided by Aristech which was deliberately left unfinished.

To help achieve the artist’s vision for the designs on the exterior panels of the archway, we leveraged the precision of CNC-milling to meticulously carve intricate linework and patterns that reference a wide range of source materials including symbols from the Quran and motifs inspired by the park’s flora and fauna.

The artwork, through its incorporation of inscriptions of packing labels and handwritten notes by park staff, also references the unseen labor associated with the circulation of materials in the park and acts as a portrait of the park and the people who maintain it every day.

The absence of paint or color in the fabrication process aims to highlight the raw materials and allow the artwork to boldly speak for itself.

This project marked our second collaboration with Baseera and further built on the creative ebb and flow we developed working together on Painful Arc I.

Our experience having worked together previously helped us navigate the complexities of the design process and further refined our communication, allowing us to anticipate each other's needs and streamline fabrication. This sort of synergy has not only enhanced the outcome of Painful Arc II (Shoulder High) but has also laid the groundwork for future successful endeavors.

Painful Arc II (Shoulder High) will be on view June 2023 - June 2024 on the High Line at Little West 12th Street near the Standard Hotel.


Baseera Khan


The High Line

Baseera Khan, Painful Arc II (Shoulder High), is supported, in part, by Douglass Residential College at Rutgers–New Brunswick and Simone Subal Gallery, and several private contributors.


The High Line at Little West 12th Street




Baseera Khan, Painful Arc II (Shoulder-High), 2023. A High Line Commission. On view June 2023 – May 2024. Photo by Timothy Schenck. Courtesy of the High Line.