Four Houses, Some Buildings and Other Spaces, an exhibition curated by Berta Sichel at NYU’s 80 WSE Gallery through March 16 brings together ten artists (or artists-collaborations) around the ideals and memories invested in buildings, other man-made structures, and their remains. They investigate the subjects of who determines the built environment, who establishes its meaning, who tells its history, and which of multiple histories are preserved. The story they tell is complex, nuanced and provocative, without being tendentious. The artists, from Europe, North and South America, are primarily interested in buildings as bearers of ideas – either those of their ... More » »
Free workshops at black comix convention The 10th Annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention is back! Philadelphia will again host the convention on May 21 at The Crown Plaza Hotel on 1800 Market Street from 10 am – 7 pm.
Flying over snow-covered mountains in western Pennsylvania long ago, I was struck by the ambiguous appearance of this wintry landscape, as viewed from 30,000 feet. Was I looking at mountains—or and dunes in the desert, waves in the ocean, ripples in a pond? Chad Gerth’s urban photographs and Lydia Jenkins Musco’s constructions of urban materials [Tiger Strikes Asteriod, February 4 - 27, 2011] both explore the difficulties the eye faces in making sense of the world.
Los Angeles. You have to wonder when the United States is going to kick its cultural amnesia and get on with some real, workable, world-historical consciousness; when it’ll finally enter History rather than just history. My guess is in a century or two, when we’ve joined the underdogs and the past seems prettier and not so conveniently forgotten. But History is not so much forgotten here as it is repressed and replaced; forced so far down that it pops up with the weirdest, WTF symptomology.
The Centre Pompidou, located in the heart of Paris, was originally conceived as a temporary structure in 1977. Though it has become a permanent and thriving cultural hub the Pompidou’s original temporary identity remains intact as witnessed by the current installation of cardboard – based works by the Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata on the centre’s facade.
Las Vegas Studio: Images from Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown at the The MOCA Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles. Learning from Las Vegas was a real watershed moment— or maybe I should say a real Waterloo moment— in architectural history. This book was the first, fully-formulated backlash against the dictates of Modernist architecture, however polite in its tone. Running contrary to every last tenet of the International Style, the polemic warmly extolled the symbol and ornament, fun and dysfunction, the ugly and ordinary, the redundant and duck-shaped— and nearly everything else that had been shaved from the severe, honest, ... More » »
Martin Filler’s piece at the NY Review of Books excoriates the Philadelphia architecture firm‘s new design for the American embassy in London. A large part of the design constraints apparently came from the US government, which wanted a building in a less populated part of London; a building with less shatterproof glass (the glass exterior is coated with polymer); and landscaping with water and lots of hillocks and berms — all of which are to protect against expected terrorist bomb attempts.
Post by Max Mulhern Leis Switzerland. This and other photos in this post by Max Mulhern The small idyllic Swiss village of Leis is expanding in the form of two new twin houses designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor of thermal bath fame. They are nearing completion on a steep upward slope behind the village as we go to press. I call them the twin towers so strong is their domination over the low flat houses snuggled together at their feet. The lower of the two is called the Annalisa House in honor of Zumthor’s wife for whom the house ... More » »