POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — The sculptor Huma Bhabha, the next artist to be featured in the popular roof-installation series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was working away in her studio here the other day.
Unlike some of her famous forebears among Hudson River Valley artists, who were more likely to use a paintbrush, Ms. Bhabha was wielding an ax.
It’s a big ax, the kind that could be used to stock a woodpile or scare teenagers in a horror movie. Most remarkably, Ms. Bhabha — whose show at the Met beginning next month is only the first in a spate of museum exhibitions in the offing — manages to use it in a way that is precise and surgical, yet still emphatic.
The Pakistan-born 55-year-old was chop, chop, chopping on the bottom of a block of cork on the first floor of a former firehouse that she bought with her husband, Jason Fox, also an artist. (His studio is on the second floor, and they live on the third.)
Cork is relatively unusual in the world of sculpture — and so are axes, for that matter — but it’s one of Ms. Bhabha’s go-to materials these days.