Tomas Saraceno at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
by Jesse Dorris | Wednesday, July 18, 2012 | 1 Comment
All those dazed by Argentina-born Tomas Saraceno’s stunning Cloud City installation on the roof of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art—or dazed by the brutal heat wave baking the city—should take shelter in the cool of Chelsea’s Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, which presents “Tomas Saraceno: Air-Port-City/Cloud Cities,” an exhibition of Saraceno’s architectural proposals, experiments, and models on view through July 27, 2012.
Air-Port-City/Cloud-City draws on a wide range of influences (R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes, Weaire-Phelon bubbles, the networking capacity of spider webs) to offer a new ideal for living: floating, scalable, cell-like modules that detach and recombine in any combination imaginable. Part Habitat 67, part habitrail, the models drift before a digital rendering of Saraceno’s imaginary city.
To see all this, however, viewers must negotiate the thin black cords tethering his Biospherical series to the ceiling, walls, and floor. These two globes—one webbed, the other constructed of laminated solar panels that power an interior lamp—are preparation for the two larger pieces in the back. 80SW Iridescent/Flying Garden/Air-Port-City clusters eighty pillows in a form more geode than geodesic. Nearby, an air pump puffs translucent, shining foam bubbles across a Plexiglas plane. It’s an invigorating end to an inspiring show.