Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus
Tiny figures teeter and bounce amid looming, massive spheres. Easy to miss from the floor of the Ständehaus’s vast atrium, the incongruous drama flits against a faceted glass roof more than 75 feet overhead. Triangular roof panes recall a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome, as well as his musings on livable environments. But as critic Ronald Jones points out, Tomás Saraceno can be distinguished from earlier futurists because he aligns divergent realms of expertise and industrial materials with a scalable vision to create physically accessible environments. The (real) aerialists and props populating In Orbit recall images of astronauts, both fictional and real, maneuvering outside their capsules in empty space. Only an artist as imaginative as Saraceno, with wide-ranging scientific interests and an awareness of technological possibilities, can so disorient and satisfy us in this age when fantasy-themed parks have raised participatory expectations to absurdly high levels. Curious museumgoers ascended to the uppermost balustrade ringing the atrium. Arriving at eye level with the space walkers, they realized that even the clumsiest participant could not fall from the outstretched layers of net …see the entire review in the print version of July/August’s Sculpture magazine.