Nomad Studio: Green Air

May 21, 2016 - Aug 21, 2016

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Nomad Studio: Green Air, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: Alise O’Brien Photography.

Nomad Studio: Green Air, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: Alise O’Brien Photography.

Nomad Studio: Green Air, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: Alise O’Brien Photography.

Nomad Studio: Green Air, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: Alise O’Brien Photography.

Nomad Studio: Green Air, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: Alise O'Brien Photography.Nomad Studio: Green Air, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: Alise O'Brien Photography.Nomad Studio: Green Air, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: Alise O'Brien Photography.Nomad Studio: Green Air, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: Alise O'Brien Photography.

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Designed by New York-based Nomad Studio, Green Air is the second major, transformational installation in CAM’s courtyard. Green Air comprises two thousand slices of wood suspended from the courtyard’s trellis with Tillandsia air plants attached to each. The sculpture hangs above the heads of visitors, swaying in the breeze and filling the 45-by-50-foot space. Headed by William E. Roberts and Laura Santín, landscape architecture firm Nomad Studio is known for combining contemporary art and design with natural elements. Green Air is the second work in a two-year commission made possible by an Innovation Fund grant by the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission. Following Nomad’s previous installation, Green Varnish (on view May–September 2015), the new work re-uses wood that formed the armature of the original sculpture and re-envisions its curving, wave-like shape.

Green Air’s four-foot-long poplar sticks are hung at varying heights, moving together in the wind and functioning as a monumental aerial garden. The installation transforms the surrounding gray concrete and glass environment into a natural and organic setting. Surviving on light and air alone, the Tillandsia function as a bio-indicator, speaking to the pollution pervasive in a man-made environment. Nested within the courtyard, this immersive hanging garden surrounds visitors with unexpected beauty in a surprising location.

Nomad Studio was founded in 2009 by William E. Roberts and Laura Santín and is located in Brooklyn, New York. Committed to innovative landscape architecture, planning, art, and urban design, Nomad coordinates an international network of professionals who work together to create unique and memorable experiences that foster a connection between the user and the landscape. Nomad fosters a dialogue with the landscape from all angles and scales, with the objective of creating inspirational and experiential backdrops for people to engage with natural systems through beauty, outdoor recreation, or community interaction.

This exhibition is generously supported by an Innovation Fund grant from the Regional Arts Commission St. Louis and the Whitaker Foundation. Special thanks to the Master of Landscape Architecture students at Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the St. Louis Master Gardeners, and installers Molly Brennan, David Burnett, Ryan Doyle, Zac Farmer, Joshua Gann, Matthew Hannon, Marianne Laury, Chris Lucas, Eric Repice, Laura Schatzman, Bret Schneider, Emily Keefauver Stuttler, Jonathan Watt, and Jamie Wiechens.

Green Air is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Lisa Melandri, Executive Director.