Up on the roof of NY's Met museum in "Cloud City"

Mon May 14, 2012 3:00pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Argentine artist Tomas Saraceno combines art, architecture and science in a striking installation on the rooftop garden of The Metropolitan Museum of Art that gives visitors a different perspective of the sky, clouds and the city around them.

"Cloud City," which opens on Tuesday and runs for six months, is a giant jumble of interconnecting modules, measuring 54 feet long and 28 feet high, that rises to varying levels and incorporates reflective materials, mirrors and glass with New York's skyline and Central Park as the backdrop.

Visitors can enter and walk through the spheres in what Saraceno described as a way to experience connections and relations that make it appear you are not where you are.

"Upside down, Central Park is a flying garden embedded in a cumulus cloud, mirrored buildings and skies appear under your feet, gravity seems to reorient itself, and people are multiplied in patchworks of cloudscape, forming unexpected interconnected networks," he said.

The exhibit, which is Saraceno's first in the United States, was commissioned specifically by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the roof garden and was two years in the making.

It is the 15th single-artist installation on the roof site.

Anne Strauss, the associate curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, described the installation as "a bold and exhilarating endeavor."

"Tomas Saraceno is an artist who opens our eyes to ideas and possibilities and his site-specific structure is so successfully in dialogue with the setting. It is a microcosm against the microcosm that is Manhattan," Strauss told a press briefing.   Continued...

Argentine artist Tomas Saraceno's "Cloud City" exhibit, a constellation of 16 interconnected modules is seen at the rooftop of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in a handout photo. REUTERS/Tomas Saraceno/Handout