Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
1661 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Grand Salon Floor Plan
Parallax Gap transforms the Renwick Gallery's Bettie Rubenstein Grand Salon into a visual puzzle. This immersive, site-specific installation explores examples of interplay between craft and architecture through a ceiling-suspended structure running the length of the Renwick's iconic gallery. The installation embraces both Eastern and Western concepts of perspective through trompe l’oeil effects and multiple vanishing points to create a sense of soaring architectural volume.
Drawings of ceilings of nine different iconic American buildings are fabricated using a collection of skewed vantage points. Laid near or atop one another, they create layers of both recognizable and abstracted architectural space that change as viewers move underneath. These perspectival illusions operate through the concept of parallax, or how the distance or depth of objects appears to vary when viewed from different lines of sight. Parallax Gap is the Renwick’s first foray into commissioning examples of large-scale craft in architecture.
Parallax Gap was designed by FreelandBuck, an architectural design practice based in New York and Los Angeles. Independent curator Helen B. Bechtel coordinated the installation.