The flooring is part of an exhibit featuring the work of Juan Munoz, a contemporary Spanish sculptor. Following its Washington premiere, the exhibit will travel to museums in Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.
Munoz, who died unexpectedly this past August at the age of 48, often created room-size environments and stage-like settings populated by anonymous figures.
One of his works in the exhibit, The Wasteland, includes a sharply patterned floor as an integral part of the artwork. The piece is named after T.S. Eliot's poem of the same name.
The Hirshhorn approached Armstrong World Industries to custom-create the floor in linoleum. The floor is inspired by centuries-old Baroque trompe l'oeil designs and features a three-dimensional-like pattern. It consists of 6,000 individual pieces, all of which were custom fabricated using computer-driven waterjet cutting machinery.
Armstrong is also credited with ``branding'' the word ``linoleum'' when it launched its first consumer advertising campaign for the product in The Saturday Evening Post in 1917.