International Sculpture Center
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Ralph Helmick

Floating World
46'h x 31'w x 30'd
Aluminum, Steel, Epoxy Paint, Terrazzo

Located in one of the world’s foremost centers for agricultural research, the sculpture is comprised of a series of increasingly modern agrarian horizons interspersed with layers of optically porous mists. The entire composition is backed by an epic map showing the rivers of Iowa. Viewed from one end of the atrium the array aligns into an orderly illustration of the history of agriculture. When viewed from the opposite end of the atrium the artwork offers a chaotic, unpredictable display of shifting light and shadow, an embodiment of the essentially elusive nature of history. Floating World draws inspiration from theater scrims, the paintings of Grant Wood, and Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e (literally “floating world”).