Press RoomPress ReleasesHigh Museum of Art Commissions Dutch Designer Sabine Marcelis for Interactive Piazza Installation Series

High Museum of Art Commissions Dutch Designer Sabine Marcelis for Interactive Piazza Installation Series

May 14, 2024

Kinetic “Panorama” plays with light, color and perspective while continuing the museum’s multiyear commitment to activating outdoor spaces

ATLANTA, May 14, 2024 — This summer, the High Museum of Art will present the interactive outdoor environment “Panorama” (June 28-Dec. 1, 2024), a kaleidoscope of color, light and reflection by Rotterdam-based Studio Sabine Marcelis. The immersive site-specific sculptural installation is the ninth in the High’s multiyear series of inclusive and inviting commissions to activate the Woodruff Arts Center’s Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza.

“Panorama” will consist of four glass pillars that rotate, reflecting light, scenery and the urban environment of the piazza. As the pillars move, they will act as magnets to their surroundings, pulling light into a desaturated space to generate colorful reflections, increasing the visual impact of the work. By entering the space between the pillars as they rotate, visitors are given a seamless visual experience that offers a different perspective of their surroundings. The installation will literally and metaphorically reflect the sun, transforming perceptions and injecting warmth into the experience of entering the piazza.

“‘Panorama’ will create a welcoming, engaging and dynamic optical experience at our front doors, which continues our commitment to curating a creative environment from the moment you step on our campus,” said High Museum of Art Director Rand Suffolk. “We are proud to be the first U.S. institution to commission Sabine’s work, and we are delighted for our visitors to experience this installation by such an innovative and respected artist.”

The installation presents a new dimension for Studio Sabine Marcelis, as it is the designer’s first monumental and kinetic work that embraces dynamism through movement. Known for working with elements like light and glass, Marcelis has fused her work in spatial design with the High’s mission to present interactive activations, resulting in a unique installation that speaks to her continued innovation and manipulation of materials.

“Sabine Marcelis creates projects that are sensitive to their surroundings using reflective glass as a material to question our initial impressions. What happens when we see things differently? Can we gain new clarity in our lives?” said Monica Obniski, the High’s curator of decorative arts and design. “Through the experience of ‘Panorama,’ Sabine is asking us to set aside preconceived ideas and embrace an open mind toward new experiences.”

“Panorama” builds on the success of the eight previous Piazza commissions: “HAPPY JOYLANTA” by Tanya Aguiñiga (2023); “Outside the Lines” by Bryony Roberts Studio (2021); “Murmuration” by New York-based architectural firm SO – IL (2020); “Sonic Playground” (2018) by Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki; “Merry Go Zoo” (2017) and “Tiovivo” (2016) by Spanish designer Jaime Hayon; and “Mi Casa, Your Casa” and “Los Trompos” (“The Spinning Tops”) (2014-2015) by Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena.

About the High’s Piazza Activation Initiative
The High’s piazza activation initiative launched in 2014 to explore how engaging with art and design can extend beyond the museum’s walls. Varied programs, art-making activities and other interactive features enliven these dynamic outdoor installations.

The High commissioned Esrawe and Cadena to design the first two installations for the project, “Mi Casa, Your Casa” and “Los Trompos” (“The Spinning Tops”), followed by Hayon’s “Tiovivo” and “Merry Go Zoo,” Suzuki’s “Sonic Playground,” SO – IL’s “Murmuration,’’ Bryony Roberts Studios’ “Outside the Lines” and Tanya Aguiñiga’s “HAPPY JOYLANTA.” For each of these installations, the High worked with local arts organizations and Woodruff Arts Center partners to present live performances and art-making activities themed around the structures. The piazza projects have so far been enjoyed by over 960,000 visitors.

The High’s piazza activation initiative is sponsored by a grant from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation, which is part of the family of foundations that includes the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. The Lettie Pate Evans Foundation is an independent private foundation that invests primarily in education, arts and culture.

About Studio Sabine Marcelis
Sabine Marcelis is an artist and designer who runs her practice from the harbor of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. After graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2011, Marcelis began working within the fields of product, installation and spatial design with a strong focus on materiality. Her work is characterized by pure forms that highlight material properties.

Marcelis applies a strong aesthetic point of view to her collaborations with industry specialists. This method of working allows her to intervene in the manufacturing process, using material research and experimentation to achieve new and surprising visual effects for projects both showcased in museums and commissioned by commercial clients and fashion houses. Marcelis considers her designs to be true sensorial experiences: the experience becomes the function, with a refined and unique aesthetic. Her work has been acquired into the permanent collections of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, among others.

She has recently won the prestigious Elle Deco International Design Designer of the Year award in 2023 and the Wallpaper* Designer of the Year award in 2020.

Notable exhibitions include solo shows at the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and Vitra Design Museum as well as group shows at Design Miami, Les Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Kunsthal Rotterdam. Marcelis has received art installation commissions from Fendi, Dior and Noor Riyadh, among others.

Exhibition Organization and Support
“Panorama” is sponsored by a grant from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation. This exhibition is made possible by Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Premier Exhibition Series Supporters Mr. Joseph H. Boland, Jr., Harry Norman Realtors, wish Foundation; Ambassador Exhibition Series Supporters Loomis Charitable Foundation, Mrs. Harriet H. Warren; Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters Farideh and Al Azadi, Margot and Danny McCaul, Wade A. Rakes II and Nicholas Miller; Generous support is also provided by Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund, USI Insurance Services.

About the High Museum of Art
Located in the heart of Atlanta, the High Museum of Art connects with audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collection, dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. Housed within facilities designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the High features a collection of more than 19,000 works of art, including an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American fine and decorative arts; major holdings of photography and folk and self-taught work, especially that of artists from the American South; burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, including paintings, sculpture, new media and design; a growing collection of African art, with work dating from prehistory through the present; and significant holdings of European paintings and works on paper. The High is dedicated to reflecting the diversity of its communities and offering a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit www.high.org.

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Media contacts:
Marci Tate Davis
Manager of Public Relations
404-733-4585
marci.davis@high.org

Brittany Mizell
Public Relations Specialist
404-733-4423
brittany.mizell@high.org

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