About the Project

For Anemones: An Air Aquarium, Otto Piene presented a walk-through soft sculpture environment of inflated fish and sea anemones as an interpretation of I. M. Pei’s architecture at 88 Pine Street. The sea life, ranging in size from ten to forty feet, were constructed from red spinnaker cloth and clear polyethylene, and surrounded by multicolored translucent sheets. Timed fans inflated and deflated the underwater life, creating the illusion of slow breathing.


“When measured against the daily concerns of surrounding businesses, the Anemones project may seem frivolous, but it brings to an essentially urban situation a whiff of nature’s elements. For the passersby, Anemones is an unexpected lunchtime air aquarium. The theme of this venture is scale, along with movement,” said Piene. The sculptures were designed by Piene and his crew of artists and students during a workshop held in the exhibit space over the summer.




Otto Piene

Anemones: An Air Aquarium