Cao | Perrot Studio
Cloud Terrace, by artists Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot of Cao | Perrot Studio, Los Angeles and Paris, was on view from April, 2012 through October, 2013. It took the form of a hand-sculpted wire mesh cloud suspended over the Arbor Terrace and was embellished with 10,000 Swarovski elements water-drop crystals mirrored in a reflecting pool.
The Arbor Terrace is one of the most modified spaces in the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens. Originally designed by Beatrix Farrand in the early 1930s as a simple rectangular herb garden, bordered on the west by a wisteria-covered arbor and on the east and north by a hedge of Kieffer pears, it was refashioned by Farrand’s former associate Ruth Havey in the 1950s as a pot garden centered on a Rococo-style parterre with low, Doria stone parapet walls. The space can be hot and bright; Cao | Perrot’s installation was a response to these conditions, extending the shade of the arbor across the terrace and animating the space inside the parterre with an oval pool surrounded by bluestone pebbles.
About the Artists
Cao | Perrot studio have a stunning list of projects to their credit, including temporary site-specific installations at the American Academy in Rome, the Potager du Roi, Versailles, the Tuileries, Paris, the Medici Fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens, and many of the world’s leading garden festivals. Cao | Perrot studio are also responsible for the winning design of the 600-acre Guangming New Town Central Park in Shenzhen, China, a collaboration with Lee + Mundwiler Architects, which received an AIA 2009 National Honor Award for Urban Design. For more information on the artists, please visit www.caoperrotstudio.com.
The installation was organized by John Beardsley, Director of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, and Gail Griffin, Director of Gardens, with the particular assistance of staff members Jane Padelford and Walter Howell. It is the third in a series of contemporary art installations at Dumbarton Oaks, following projects by Charles Simonds in 2009 and Patrick Dougherty in 2010. The series is intended to provide fresh interpretations and experiences of the Gardens and art collections of Dumbarton Oaks. The project was built with the assistance of twenty-six volunteers and supported by Swarovski Elements, who provided the crystals used for the installation.
Susan Stamberg of National Public Radio interviewed Director of Garden and Landscape Studies John Beardsley about Cloud Terrace (June 26, 2012). Adrian Higgins described the program in his article in the Washington Post (March 1, 2013.)