Press Release

The BMA Presents New Sculpture and Exhibition by Internationally Acclaimed Artist Tomás Saraceno

Event Date: 
1 October 2017
Baltimore, MD
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The site-specific commission will transform the BMA’s East Lobby from October 1, 2017 – June 2018.

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) has commissioned a major new work by internationally acclaimed artist Tomás Saraceno for an exhibition that will dramatically change the East Lobby and several galleries. Tomás Saraceno: Entangled Orbits brings together a group of fascinating sculptural works by the Argentinian artist and trained architect known for exploring new ways of inhabiting and sensing the environment. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Entangled Orbits, a cluster of luminous spheres suspended within a complex web of lines commissioned by the BMA and displayed in the East Lobby from October 1, 2017 through June 2018. This work is accompanied by three interventions in the European Art galleries that show the artist’s ongoing engagement with spheres, mobiles, and spiderwebs. These works are on view through April 29, 2018.

Entangled Orbits demonstrates the museum’s commitment to presenting work by living artists in public spaces and the idea that art should be the first thing you see when you enter the museum and the last thing as you leave,” said BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford. “This commission is the first expression of that commitment.”

Berlin-based artist Tomás Saraceno (b. 1973, Argentina) takes inspiration in the adaptability, integrity, and beauty of such natural formations as molecular chains, clouds, and spiderwebs. He creates drawings, sculptures, and site-specific installations that apply these natural structures to the problem of developing alternative constructions for living that would enable humans to more responsively and responsibly inhabit the planet. Although grounded in science and observation, Saraceno’s vision is expansive, including a strong sense of aesthetics and an openness to utopian solutions.

“Tomás Saraceno, his studio team, and an expert group from the BMA have spent many hours developing a highly complex and fascinating series of installations that will transform a number of the museum’s spaces in thoroughly unexpected ways,” said BMA Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman. “The result will be sculptural environments that immerse visitors in a magical combination of art, architecture, and science.”

Saraceno is the first artist to produce a site-specific, three-dimensional work of art in the BMA’s East Lobby. Weaving together art, architecture, natural sciences, and engineering, the artist’s installation combines clusters of iridescent-paneled spheres within a sweeping “spiderweb” of black ropes that will be woven on-site across a two-story open area bordered by a staircase and mezzanine. Appearing somewhat like bubbles, these spherical modules evoke Saraceno’s visionary plans for “cloud cities,” which look to naturally occurring forms for inspiration and might provide environments for future human habitation. Similarly, the intricate spiderweb of ropes refers to a natural structure that encompasses the qualities of strength, beauty, and flexibility.

The presentation in the European Art galleries further demonstrate the artist’s interest in finding inspiration in the structures of the natural world—clouds, bubbles, and spiderwebs—as he creates arresting and imaginative forms that could model the architecture of the future. An elaborate sculptural spiderweb dramatically lit within an entirely darkened space is among the works one will encounter. The piece, encased in a suspended vitrine, is at once an absorbing aesthetic object and an astonishing natural specimen communally built by several types of spiders. Abstract mobiles that recall planetary systems and early 20th-century modernist designs hover in an adjacent gallery, while a complex installation of suspended inflated iridescent pillows fills a final space.

Saraceno’s work has been exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Grand Palais, Paris; the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; and many other venues around the world. The artist has participated in the International Space Studies Program at NASA’s Ames Research Center and held residencies at Centre National d’Études Spatiales in Paris and MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology. In 2009, he presented a major installation at the 53rd Venice Biennale and was awarded the prestigious Calder Prize. Saraceno’s work is found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; among other distinguished institutions. He is a pioneer in scanning, reconstructing, and reimagining spiderwebs—bringing a unique combination of art and science to the study of spiders’ habitats—and possesses the only three-dimensional spiderweb collection in existence.


The Baltimore Museum of Art

Founded in 1914, The Baltimore Museum of Art is a major cultural destination recognized for engaging diverse audiences through dynamic exhibitions and innovative educational and community outreach programs. The BMA’s internationally renowned collection of 95,000 objects encompasses more than 1,000 works by Henri Matisse anchored by the famed Cone Collection of modern art, as well as one of the nation’s finest holdings of prints, drawings, and photographs. The galleries showcase an exceptional collection of art from Africa; important works by established and emerging contemporary artists; outstanding European and American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts; significant artworks from China; ancient Antioch mosaics; and exquisite textiles from around the world. The 210,000- square-foot museum is also distinguished by a grand historic building designed in the 1920s by renowned American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of 20th-century sculpture. The BMA is located in Charles Village, three miles north of the Inner Harbor, and is adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University. General admission to the BMA is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.

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Tomás Saraceno. “Many suns and worlds.” 2016. Courtesy the artist; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Andersen's Contemporary, Copenhagen; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Esther Schipper, Berlin. © Photography by The Vanhaerents Art Collection, 2017.

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