Art is not confined to gallery walls. The concept of art displayed on ceilings stretches back to the Renaissance, perhaps most notably the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo. The Renaissance tradition of Trompel’oeil ceilings went further, using an illusionary depth of perspective to depict a volume which doesn’t exist; be it a dome that was never built or an attic filled with angels.
Four hundred years later, New York and Los Angeles-based architecture firm FreelandBuck has elevated the concept with its upcoming installation ‘Parallax Gap’, which has been selected by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum as the winning entry in a competition entitled ‘ABOVE the Renwick’. From July 2017 to February 2018, the 2,500sqft canopy will be suspended from the ceiling of the Renwick’s largest room, the Bettie Rubenstein Grand Salon, depicting an abstract catalog of American architectural icons.