ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
presents a unique landscape architecture installation by Nomad Studio, on view in CAMs courtyard June through September 2015. Made possible by a generous Innovation Fund grant from the Regional Arts Commission, Green Varnish represents an entirely new type of exhibition for CAMone in which landscape architects are chosen to organize a living installation. Green Varnish is an undulating yet modulated field of flowers comprising some ten thousand native and exotic plants in a white, green, and yellow color palette. Almost completely filling CAMs 45-by-50-foot interior courtyard, the work transforms the space, providing viewers with a lush, natural experience.
Headed by William E. Roberts and Laura Santín, Nomad Studio is known for their innovative approach to combining contemporary art and design with natural elements. In their award-winning work, seen around the world, the group has focused on the social and environmental impact of landscape design. With Green Varnish, Nomad references the act of painting or covering over something in order to beautify it. In this case, the work covers the courtyard with a coat of green, re-envisioning the space as a growing sculpture. Like a blanket being unfurled, the structure appears to float at the edges, hovering slightly above the ground. Due to its sheer size, the installation cannot be ignored. It remakes the courtyard floor as viewers take in the living carpet from all sides.
Reflecting the collaborative nature of Green Varnish, a local grower starts the plants from seed, and local master gardeners maintain the installation. When viewed through floor-to-ceiling windows from within the Museum, Green Varnish has a significant visual impact. CAM invites visitors to experience the work in personsit next to it, walk around it, and enjoy the feeling of being in a field of flowers. The Museum is hosting a variety of related programs throughout the summer, including free lemonade every weekend as well as in-depth considerations of the intersections of botany, design, horticulture, and fine art.
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.