CFAM Announces New Installation at The Alfond Inn

The latest addition to the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Tomás Saraceno’s Cloud Cities - Nebulous Thresholds will be on display in the conservatory of The Alfond Inn beginning this month.

Tomás Saraceno, Cloud Cities - Nebulous Thresholds, 2017 (detail), Metal, polyester rope, fishing line, iridescent plexiglass, metal wire, steel thread, Installed at The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Winter Park, Florida, USA., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, 2017.6.46. Image courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. Photography © Studio Tomás Saraceno 2017 Tomás Saraceno, Cloud Cities - Nebulous Thresholds, 2017 (detail), Metal, polyester rope, fishing line, iridescent plexiglass, metal wire, steel thread, Installed at The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Winter Park, Florida, USA., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, 2017.6.46. Image courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. Photography © Studio Tomás Saraceno 2017

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum announces the installation of a new sculptural work of art by international artist Tomás Saraceno. Commissioned by Barbara ’68 and Ted ’68 Alfond as the newest addition to the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cloud Cities - Nebulous Thresholds will be displayed under the glass dome of the conservatory at The Alfond Inn at Rollins College beginning this month.

Berlin-based Saraceno studied architecture at Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in Argentina from 1992 to 1999. He received postgraduate degrees in art and architecture from Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de la Nación Ernesto de la Cárcova in Buenos Aires and Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2009, Saraceno participated in the International Space University’s Space Studies Program at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, and presented a major installation at the 53rd Venice Biennale. Saraceno is a recipient of the prestigious Calder Prize, which is awarded biannually to honor a living artist who has completed exemplary and innovative early work and has demonstrated the potential to make a major contribution to the field.

Tomás Saraceno, Cloud Cities - Nebulous Thresholds, 2017 (detail), Metal, polyester rope, fishing line, iridescent plexiglass, metal wire, steel thread, Installed at The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Winter Park, Florida, USA., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, 2017.6.46. Image courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. Photography © Studio Tomás Saraceno 2017 Tomás Saraceno, Cloud Cities - Nebulous Thresholds, 2017 (detail), Metal, polyester rope, fishing line, iridescent plexiglass, metal wire, steel thread, Installed at The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Winter Park, Florida, USA., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, 2017.6.46. Image courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. Photography © Studio Tomás Saraceno 2017

Among his many exhibitions since the late 1990s, Saraceno's important solo presentations include Aerosolar Journeys at Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zürich, Switzerland; Stillness in Motion - Cloud Cities at SFMOMA in San Francisco; Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore; Cosmic Jive, Tomás Saraceno: The Spider Sessions at Villa Croce in Genoa, Italy; Tomás Saraceno at HfG Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany; In Orbit at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K21 in Düsseldorf, Germany; On Space Time Foam at Hangar Bicocca in Milan; Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City, a site-specific installation commissioned for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Cloud Specific at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in St. Louis; Cloud Cities at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin; 14 billion, which opened at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm in 2010 and traveled to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, U.K., through 2011; and Lighter than Air, a traveling exhibition at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis and the University of Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum.

His work is presently represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Perez Art Museum in Miami, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in Luxembourg, Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others.

The installation of this new work by Saraceno coincides with the opening of the exhibition Time as Landscape: Inquiries of Art and Science at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum (CFAM). The exhibition will include new acquisitions alongside major loans and is accompanied by a small catalogue. Time as Landscape is curated by Abigail Ross Goodman and CFAM Curator Amy Galpin. The catalogue will include essays by the curators as well as artist Trevor Paglen's text "Geographies of Time."

Informed by the Saraceno's rigorous research practice that explores natural phenomena, avant-garde architecture of the 60s and 70s, and issues of urbanism and social and environmental utopias, the Cloud Cities series is a significant body of work in the artist's oeuvre.

"It also represents a fitting apex—both literal and figurative—of the Alfond Collection," says Ena Heller, the Bruce A. Beal Director of CFAM. "Redefining the boundaries of the possible is precisely what we teach our students at Rollins, and Saraceno's visual expression becomes a powerful symbol."

In Cloud Cities - Nebulous Thresholds, five elements composed of metal, polyester rope, fishing line, iridescent plexiglass, metal wire, and steel thread will hover inside the dome of The Alfond Inn, materializing as a weightless and interconnected web of color and form.

Several sides of the installation's various elements are covered with iridescent panels, which kaleidoscopically cast radiant hues, shadows, and reflections as visitors move in the space, creating a constantly evolving perception of the object in its environment. Each geometric component of the sculpture references what the artist has termed cloud cities, his vision for utopian dwellings of the future, airborne in collective sustainable environments.

In Saraceno's vision of cloud cities, inhabitable modules and structures float nomadically in the atmosphere, powered by the thermodynamic energy exchange between the sun and the Earth. The commission for Rollins College is reflective of Saraceno's ongoing commitment to imagine new possibilities for humankind and our environment. In his sculptural practice, the artist expands on aesthetic experience as synesthetic moment, encouraging the viewer to ponder the gamut and boundaries of our sensoria and perception.