The second public art display scheduled for Campbell Park is set to arrive in September as Oklahoma Contemporary moves forward with plans to incorporate the park into its future campus along Automobile Alley.
The first display, Terra, by New York artist Orly Genger, consisted of 1.4 million feet of recycled lobster-fishing rope painted with 350 gallons of terra cotta-colored paint. The 28-foot-high Cloud City by Tomas Saraceno previously was displayed on the rooftop of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and referred to by the artist as “a utopian city in the sky.”
Oklahoma Contemporary describes the display as "Made of steel and acrylic, the structure is both transparent and reflective so grass may appear overhead and the sky is reflected onto the ground. The 16 interconnected modules, each the size of a small room, draw shapes from natural forms, including bubbles, clouds, universes, bacteria, foam and animals' neural communication networks."
The display will open Sept. 8 with construction set to start this fall on Oklahoma Contemporary.
Jeremiah Matthew Davis, artistic director at Oklahoma Contemporary, said Cloud City represents a direction the art center is headed artistically.
“Saraceno's interdisciplinary work connects art, engineering, science and innovation to create a fun, interactive and unique platform of exploration,” Davis said. “This kind of project lays the groundwork for conversations across diverse fields and between communities, creating connections and opening doors to new ways of participating with art in Oklahoma City.”
Davis said the sculpture shows how Saraceno, who studied art and architecture, blends those interests with science and engineering. Instead of designing buildings, the artist develops projects that present alternative ways of perceiving reality and interacting with others.
“Bringing this massive installation to Campbell Art Park, overlooking the site of our future home, we hope visitors will be able to experience the Oklahoma sky and the buildings of downtown from the vantage point of the clouds,” Davis said.
“While climbing through the complex, interconnected structure, people can look east and imagine how the landscape will change once we open our new building.”