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The Chicago-based Graham Foundation has released a list of organizations that will receive its coveted Production and Presentation Grants to pursue architecture-related projects this year. A total of 54 organizations will be presented with financial support from the foundation, with no grantee’s allocation exceeding $30,000 and few receiving the full amount requested. In line with the Graham Foundation’s mission to “foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture,” awardees will receive assistance with production-related expenses for a variety of undertakings that aim to enrich architectural discourse, including films, publications, exhibitions, and lectures. Final decisions were made on the basis of four criteria: originality, feasibility, capacity, and potential for impact.
The winning projects for 2020 are split into four distinct categories—exhibitions; film, video, and new media projects; public programs; and publications—and were submitted by a wide range of institutions, companies, and non-profits. Among the grantees are Boston’s MASS Design Group, Michael Sorkin’s Terreform, the Oslo Architecture Triennale, and the University of Chicago’s South Side Home Movie Project. Several past grant recipients received funding for new projects this year, including the Museum of Modern Art for a publication on the work of Robert Venturi and Mexico City-based LIGA-Space for Architecture, which is working to highlight Latin American designers in its annual public program. Here is the full list of the 2020 recipients and their respective projects:
EXHIBITIONS (19 awards)
Àkéte Art Foundation Lagos, Nigeria How To Build a Lagoon with Just a Bottle of Wine?, 2nd Lagos Biennial
ArchiteXX Syracuse, NY Now What?! Advocacy, Activism, and Alliances in American Architecture since 1968
Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury
Chicago Architecture Biennial Chicago, IL Graham Foundation Artistic Director
Cranbrook Art Museum Bloomfield Hills, MI Ruth Adler Schnee: Modern Designs for Living
Elmhurst Art Museum Elmhurst, IL Assaf Evron & Claudia Weber
El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera Buffalo, NY Paul Rudolph’s Shoreline Apartments
Equitable Vitrines Los Angeles, CA Florian Hecker
Landmark Columbus Foundation Columbus, IN Good Design and the Community: 2019 Exhibition, Exhibit Columbus
LIGA–Space for Architecture Mexico City, Mexico LIGA Public Program 2019–2020
Madison Square Park Conservancy New York, NY Martin Puryear: Liberty/Libertà: US Pavilion, 58th International Art Exhibition
Materials & Applications Los Angeles, CA Staging Construction
National Building Museum Washington, DC Architecture is Never Neutral: The Work of MASS Design Group
National Trust for Historic Preservation—Farnsworth House Plano, IL Edith Farnsworth Reconsidered
Oslo Architecture Triennale Oslo, Norway Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019
Serpentine Galleries London, United Kingdom Serpentine Pavilion 2019 by Junya Ishigami
Storefront for Art and Architecture New York, NY Building Cycles
Toronto Biennial of Art Toronto, Canada Learning from Ice
University of Illinois at Chicago—College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts Chicago, IL A Certain Kind of Life
FILM/VIDEO/NEW MEDIA PROJECTS (4 awards)
Architectural Association School of Architecture London, United Kingdom Architecture in Translation
The Funambulist Paris, France The Funambulist Network
MASS Design Group Boston, MA The Whole Architect: Giancarlo De Carlo
University of Chicago—South Side Home Movie Project Chicago, IL South Side Home Movie Project Interactive Digital Archive
PUBLIC PROGRAMS (6 awards)
Association of Architecture Organizations Chicago, IL 2019 Design Matters Conference
Harvard University—Graduate School of Design—African American Student Union Cambridge, MA Black Futurism: Creating a More Equitable Future
Independent Curators International New York, NY Curatorial Forum
Lampo Chicago, IL Lampo 2019 Concert Series at the Graham Foundation
New Architecture Writers London, United Kingdom Constructive Criticism
University of Michigan—A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Ann Arbor, MI Re: Housing: Detroit
PUBLICATIONS (25 awards)
Anyone Corporation New York, NY Log: Observations on Architecture and the Contemporary City, Issues 47, 48, and 49
ETH Zurich—gta exhibitions Zurich, Switzerland Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse
Flat Out Inc. Chicago, IL Flat Out, Issues 5 and 6
Harvard University—Graduate School of Design–New Geographies Cambridge, MA New Geographies 11: Extraterrestrial
Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, Germany Counter Gravity: The Architecture Films of Heinz Emigholz
Instituto Bardi/Casa de Vidro São Paulo, Brazil Casa de Vidro: The Bardis’ Life between Art, Architecture and Landscape
The Museum of Modern Art New York, NY Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction at Fifty
Northwestern University Press Evanston, IL Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side
Paprika! New Haven, CT Paprika! Volume V
Places Journal San Francisco, CA Reservoir: Nature, Culture, Infrastructure
PRAXIS, Inc. Boston, MA PRAXIS, Issue 15: Bad Architectures
Produzioni Nero Scrl Rome, Italy Scenes from the Life of Raimund Abraham
REAL foundation London, United Kingdom Kommunen in der Neuen Welt: 1740–1972
Rice University—School of Architecture Houston, TX PLAT 9.0
The School of Architecture at Taliesin Scottsdale, AZ WASH Magazine, Issues 003 and 004
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, NY Countryside, The Future
Southern California Institute of Architecture Los Angeles, CA LA8020
Standpunkte Basel, Switzerland Archetypes: David Ross
The Studio Museum in Harlem New York, NY The Smokehouse Associates
Terreform New York, NY UR (Urban Research) 2019
University of California, Los Angeles—Department of Architecture and Urban Design Los Angeles, CA POOL, Issue No. 5
University of Florida—Graduate School of Architecture Gainesville, FL VORKURS_Dérive
University of Maryland, College Park—School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation College Park, MD See/Saw, No. 2: Difference
University of Miami—School of Architecture Coral Gables, FL Cuban Modernism: Mid-Century Architecture, 1940–1970
Yale University Press New Haven, CT Mies van der Rohe: The Architect in His Time
I.M. Pei’s $25 million art collection will go up for auction at Christie’s
Second Time's the Charm
Rejected spotlights denied, trashed, and half-conceived architectural ideas
Humanity… All of my suffering on this world has been at the hands of humanity, particularly women. It has made me realize just how brutal and twisted humanity is as a species. All I ever wanted was to fit in and live a happy life amongst humanity, but I was cast out and rejected, forced to endure an existence of loneliness and insignificance, all because the females of the human species were incapable of seeing the value in me...My life didn’t start out dark and twisted. I started out as a happy and blissful child, living my life to the fullest in a world I thought was good and pure.[vi]Rather than a violent band of murderous incels, Team B is more aligned with the original incels, a benevolent and supportive sexless bunch. [Redacted][vii] Ironically, for Rodger, the incel community also did not start out as a twisted, sick group of internet creeps who threaten violence against people who are sexually active, which they call "Chads and Stacys." [Redacted][viii] The incel group was founded in 1993 by a Canadian student named Alana. "Alana's Involuntary Celibacy Project" was a sincere community for "anybody of any gender who was lonely, had never had sex or who hadn't had a relationship in a long time." Alana eventually abandoned the project and handed it off to another user, but the group slowly devolved into the radicalized, misogynistic group we know today. Rejection at its best becomes a rallying cry for a group or an ideology. Denise Scott Brown, in the Rejected show, describes how the rejection of three Venturi Scott Brown & Associates' projects was a systematic disavowal of the postmodern architecture style.
We feel that renovation of Franklin Court and the planned renovation of the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art exemplify a rejection not only of design but of a whole style. The renovations of these two landmark designs demonstrates a dismissal of the fun and playful spirit of postmodernism in favor of the minimalistic look of contemporary design.[ix]Philip Johnson also used rejection as a positive as he needled the Architectural League of New York, which eventually led to the International Style show at MoMA. According to Robert A.M. Stern,
In 1931 he co-curated (with [Alfred E.] Barr and Julian Levy) the independent show Rejected Architects, which created a public furor and paved the way for the International Style exhibit. It featured work by young architects that didn’t meet the requirements of the conservative Architectural League. The show was staged in a rented storefront and Johnson hired a sandwich-board man to parade in front of the League’s offices with the message “See Really Modern Architecture Rejected by the League.” The League was outraged and tried to have the man arrested, but the attendant front-page publicity insured the show’s success and brought modern architecture to the public’s attention for the first time in the United States.[x]In the Rejected show, there is no stylistic agenda, because architecture today has no singular, dominant ideology. Rather, the exhibition is a performative rejection of the culture of neoliberal psychopolitical acceptance. While some more conventional commercially successful architects actively rejected the invitation to be in the Rejected show, many of the participants proudly flaunt being rejected by the arbiters of institutional taste and the decision-makers of the capitalist development community. Who has the power to accept being a reject? For many of the participants in the show, the academic backdrop allows rejection to be taken as a positive, a wink-and-nod, that it is ok to fail. Outside of the capitalist modes of production, it is a much-needed respite and represents a strong bond between practitioners, if not stylistically, then in a way of operating within a certain lane of the current context. Instead of an architectural act of violence, what we have here is a group therapy session for the happy-go-lucky rejects who take pride in their status as architectural incels. [i] Urban Dictionary. “Reject”. Urbandictonary.com. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=reject (accessed August 5, 2019). [ii] This sentence was rejected for being insulting to the curators. [iii] 2knowmyself. “Does rejection mean you are ugly”. 2knowmyself.com. <https://www.2knowmyself.com/does_rejection_mean_you_are_ugly (accessed August 5, 2019). [iv] Byung-Chul Han. Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power. Brooklyn, NY : Verso, 2017 [v] This sentence was rejected for being too offensive in general. [vi] Elliot Rodger. My Twisted World The Story of Elliot Rodger. <https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1173808-elliot-rodger-manifesto.html> (accessed August 5, 2019). [vii] This sentence was rejected for being too offensive in general. [viii] ibid. [ix] Denise Scott Brown, email message to John Stoughton. July 1, 2019. [x] Robert A.M. Stern. “Philip Cortelyou Johnson (1906-2005).” The Architect’s Newspaper. <https://archpaper.com/2005/02/philip-courtelyou-johnson> (accessed August 5, 2019).
Remembrances from 2002-2015
Peter Lang on Cristiano Toraldo di Francia's 'incredible love'
Museum of Modern Art receives massive gift of African contemporary artwork
French-Italian art collector Jean Pigozzi has gifted New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) a substantial collection of contemporary artwork from across Africa. The 45 pieces included in the donation feature work by Sierra Leonean artist Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Malian photographer Seydou Keïta, and Congolese sculptor Bodys Isek Kingelez, whose fantastical models of cityscapes formed the retrospective exhibition Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams at MoMA last year. According to MoMA, Pigozzi’s is the largest single gift of African art that the museum has ever received and will contribute significantly to future displays of its permanent collection.
Born in Paris to Italian businessman and Simca-founder Henri Pigozzi, Jean Pigozzi amassed his fortune through inheritance and a variety of enterprises, including photography and fashion design. He jumpstarted his collection of African contemporary art in 1989, soon after seeing the exhibit Magiciens de la Terre at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Curator André Magnin lent considerable guidance as Pigozzi accumulated upwards of 10,000 pieces, now widely recognized as one of the largest collections of African contemporary art in the world. Pigozzi has maintained his holdings as the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC) in Geneva, which has no permanent galleries for exhibition. Pieces from the CAAC have been lent to museums and galleries across Africa, Europe, and North America for a range of temporary exhibits.
The move by Pigozzi sheds light on a broader effort by MoMA to overcome its longstanding focus on American and European modernism. The museum’s leaders have been appealing to donors with collections that highlight other regions of the world, including Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, who has given Latin American artwork to the institution twice since 2016. For MoMA, the acquisition may represent an opportunity for both redemption and growth. Between 1984 and 1985, the museum held an exhibit titled ‘Primitivism’ in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern, which many have excoriated for promoting reductive, racist, and deeply ingrained notions of African inferiority. The Pompidou show that catalyzed Pigozzi’s collection was largely considered a rebuttal to MoMA’s own curatorial efforts, prompting Pigozzi himself to spend much of his life advocating for African contemporary art as on-par with, and often more interesting than, Western examples.
The growing stature of African contemporary art on the global stage extends well beyond MoMA’s walls. Earlier this year, the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair made its Manhattan debut at New York’s Industria, six years after its founding in London and four years after popping up in Brooklyn. In 2016, the international auction house Sotheby’s opened a department dedicated to African art in London, which has been frequented not only by Europeans but also by wealthy collectors from Nigeria, Kenya, and elsewhere in Africa. MoMA is likely looking to get in on the action, and Pigozzi’s gift presents the institution with its best opening yet.
While it is still unclear exactly how curators will incorporate Pigozzi’s pieces into the MoMA’s permanent collection displays, they are sure to play a role in the museum’s continuing growth. MoMA’s newly expanded facility, including its reconfigured permanent collection galleries, will open to the public on October 21, 2019.
SFMOMA celebrates moon landing with a Far Out space-inspired exhibit
In celebration of the semicentennial of the moon landing, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is holding an exhibition on space-related design that promises to be out-of-this-world. Far Out: Suits, Habs, and Labs for Outer Space opened on July 20th, 50 years to the day after Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the lunar surface, and contains a variety of space suits, hypothetical space habitats, and moon-based laboratory designs.
The objects on display range in practicality from the tried-and-true to the downright quixotic. There are NASA spacesuits designed for real-life astronauts, as well as examples of Neri Oxman’s organically-grown, biomimetic work. Working with the Mediated Matter research group at MIT, she created a wearable that uses a photosynthetic membrane to convert sunlight into usable microbial material for its user. While the device has yet to be taken into outer space, its potential implications for the feasibility of long-term space travel earned it a spot in the exhibit.
Much of the work on display at SFMOMA is decidedly architectural. Architectural illustrator Rick Guidice's renderings of his Bernal Spheres and Toroidal Colonies, originally produced for NASA, depict suburban housing developments and agricultural landscapes as they might one day exist in free-floating space colonies. The exhibition also includes Mars Ice House, a collaborative project by Clouds Architecture Office (Clouds AO) and Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch) for NASA’s Centennial Challenge Mars Habitat Competition. In its design for a four-person habitat to be placed on the surface of Mars, the team proposed a 3-D printed structure that would be covered in a layer of ice to shield it from the planet’s harsh weather conditions. Visualizations of the design can be viewed in the exhibit, which will be on display through January 20, 2020.