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overlooked no more

Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect is a fantastical retrospective of expert draftsmanship
Although he never reached the fame of neoclassical contemporaries such as Claude Nicolas Ledoux and Étienne-Louis Boullée, French architect and artist Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757-1826) remains a draughtsman of immense vision, from a turbulent era that witnessed the collapse of the Ancien Régime and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Luckily, in the months leading up to his death, the artist bequeathed his vast collection of 800 drawings to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, which launched the first retrospective Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect at the beginning of 2019. The show’s latest iteration at The Morgan Libary & Museum is the first in New York City and is a succinct and, truth be told, sublime survey. The exhibition includes sixty of Leqeue’s drawings and is curated by the Morgan’s Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of Drawings and Prints, Jennifer Tonkovich. Lequeu was born in 1759 to a long line of master carpenters in Rouen, the provincial capital of Normandy. His early career began with accomplished studies at the Rouen School of Drawing followed by a string of urban planning and architectural commissions, and a migration to the imperial capital of Paris in the waning days of the Bourbon dynasty. Initial professional success and a multiyear pilgrimage to the customary landmarks in Italy ultimately fizzled, and Lequeu settled into the relative monotony of governmental bureaucracy. Perhaps as a creative outlet to deflect from hampered ambitions—not dissimilar from the architectural fantasist A.G. Rizzoli—Lequeu produced hundreds of pen and wash drawings ranging from self-portraits to invented landscapes populated by renderings of imagined buildings and monuments, many found in his quasi-handbook Civil Architecture. “One of the big takeaways, for me, has been despite the official recognition, and in the absence of any sort of validation, he continued to draw, to envision new worlds, and incorporate novel elements,” said Jennifer Tonkovich. “He never gave up his idiosyncratic vision.” The Morgan, with its flamboyant marble flooring and intricate classical detailing, is a fitting curatorial space for the show. The exhibition room is split between an outer and inner ring: The former introduces the subject with a series of self-portraits—mouth agape and jowls creviced—and largely follows the trajectory of his drawings of architectural manuals to spectacular renderings produced at night within the confines of a claustrophobic Parisian apartment. The quality of penmanship is impressive unto itself, but drawings such as Design for a Living Room at the hôtel de Montholon and the Apotheosis of Trajan highlight the profound depth of ancient architectural knowledge at Lequeu’s fingertips, with an acute syncretism of Greco-Roman, Persian, and Indo-Chinese influences. While the architectural drawings are demonstrations of vivid imagination, all remain rooted in the clear and calculated logic of profile, section, and plan. Not only are Corinthian orders and cenotaphs deconstructed into their composite parts—base, shaft, capital, and entablature—but the tectonics behind their engineering are legibly, and fantastically, expressed. Although the human body and erotic themes extend across Lequeu’s oeuvre, the center of the exhibition focuses on his works of more explicit playful sexual depictions. With the same level of detail applied to his architectural renderings, thighs and crotches are splayed and labeled, nuns lift their habits to reveal corseted breasts, and buttocks stand athwart. The timing of the exhibition is prescient in the current political moment—classicism is cast as a revanchist tool by reactionaries to reestablish Eurocentric cultural norms and artistic conformity. The retrospective’s response is an art historical broadside against that perception: “Lequeu is trying out ideas, exploring non-western forms, testing the limits of structures, experimenting with unorthodox decoration,” continued Tonkovich. “He is not bound by rules or convention, and the result is designs that are clever, mysterious, beautiful, and mystifying.” Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect  The Morgan Library & Museum 225 Madison Avenue Through May 10, 2020
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Enter the Void

Clark Thenhaus inhabits the poché in Some Walls From Unbuilt Houses
Some Walls From Unbuilt Houses opened earlier this month at Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design Armstrong Gallery. The installation consists of a collection of framed spaces surfaced with a millennial's dream material palette: Faux pink-and-blue fur, dichromatic vinyl, raw plywood, glitter embellished wood shingles, and monochromatic felt and leather. While these textured walls entice visitors to snap a selfie or two, it’s what lies behind the surface that matters most. The installation is a collection of fragments extracted from plan drawings for various houses designed by Endemic Architecture (Clark Thenhaus). Their intersecting recomposition in the gallery creates an enfilade of unfolding spaces, moving between highly articulated surfaces and low-fi unfinished stud walls. The experience gives real meaning to the phrase, “inhabit the poché,” as one must circulate simultaneously through exposed interior wall cavities and finished rooms. To top it all off, the gallery’s large glass exterior wall is activated in one ceremonious section cut through the installation, further revealing interiors full of artifacts from the construction process. The layered, overlapping and assembled qualities of the space, combined with remnants of paint samples, Walmart receipts, and scattered floor plans are suspended in a state of constant negotiation, enticing visitors, as Thenhaus states, “to look behind, through, and into the walls in search of more layers or spaces.” As a corollary production to Thenhaus’s most recent publication, Unresolved Legibility in Residential Types, the installation asks visitors to pay attention to the in-between and the unresolved in domestic layouts. The forgotten closets, utility cavities, and leftover nooks often covered over with black poché in the architect’s drawing are revealed to become new spaces of discovery and inhabitation. Some Walls From Unbuilt Houses is on display until March 6 at the CAED Armstrong Gallery, located at 132 S Lincoln St, Kent, Ohio 44240. Endemic Architecture would like to thank the following Kent State University students for their assistance: Aiden Crossey, Aileen Lin, Allison Baker, Branden Hudak, Feyza Mutlu, Jonathan Bonezzi, Kyle Troyer, Logan West, Mike Bonezzi, Ryan Lane, Yu-ting Chang.
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Come on Clean

The Bard Graduate Center shows never-before-seen works by Eileen Gray
With never-before publically exhibited works, the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) Gallery presents the first in-depth U.S. exhibition of the works of the modern architect, furniture designer, and artist Eileen Gray. The 200-piece exhibition was curated by Cloé Pitiot, a leading Eileen Gray scholar at the Centre Pompidou in Paris; and Nina Stritzler-Levine, BGC Gallery Director and curator of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris; with help from Jennifer Goff, curator of the Eileen Gray collection at the National Museum of Ireland. Born in Ireland in 1878, Eileen Gray was one of the few prominent female architects and designers before World War II, with work spanning photography, textiles, lacquer works, furniture, and residential interior design. Inspired by both the Dutch de Stijl movement and Imagist literature movement of the early 20th century, Gray wove enigmas—some easier to decode than others—into her pieces, carving architectural plans into tabletops and pressing letters into drawer fronts. “Everything is a code,” Goff said in a preview of the exhibition on February 28. “When you look at a piece by Eileen Gray, you have to try to look outside the box. If you think that something is abstract, it’s really not,” she explained, pointing to an etching of a site plan on a piece of furniture. Read the full preview on our interiors and design website,
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Lost at Sea

Plans to transform Australia’s Cockatoo Island into permanent art site rejected
Off the southern coast of Japan is a small island town named Naoshima, hailed as the country’s “art island” for hosting Tadao Ando-designed museums and large outdoor sculptures by artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Walter De Maria, and George Rickey. Since adopting its recent cultural status in the last decade, the quaint island town of 3,000 permanent residents now receives more than 700,000 visitors annually. Australia nearly has a ‘Naoshima’ of its own in Cockatoo Island, an even smaller body of land off the coast of Sydney that UNESCO proclaimed as a World Heritage Site in 2010 and, in coordination with the Biennale of Sydney, has temporarily hosted large-scale installations by artists including Ai Weiwei and Cai Guo-Qiang within its historic industrial buildings. In an attempt to solidify the island’s new-found cultural role, the Cockatoo Island Foundation Limited was established last year to transform Cockatoo Island into a permanent art site. Like Naoshima, the group envisioned Cockatoo Island as a site of multiple indoor and outdoor works of art with plenty of landscaping left over to benefit native biodiversity. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the group contains prominent art world figures, including Danny Goldberg and Tony Berg, that have guaranteed to put $80 million towards the project if the federal government would chip in another $190 million. “There is absolutely no personal commercial benefit in this,” Berg told the Herald. “We have this vision for something really fantastic to happen on Cockatoo Island, make it a place of excitement, but if at the end of the day, the review and the government say that is not the way they want to go, we will pack up our stuff and go away.”

The proposal, however, was recently rejected by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, the organization that currently owns the island, stating that the move could negatively affect the site's historical presence. “When we were set up 20 years ago,” Joseph Carrozzi, chairman of the trust, told the Art Newspaper, “the concept of the trust was to protect, rehabilitate and preserve the historical sites. We want the government to say the trust should have an ongoing role in managing these sites because they are unique. We want all the assets to be fundamentally community assets, and (used) for the purpose of telling the story of Australia in a very specific way[...] rather than a commercialized enterprise.”

The island is currently locked in an ongoing tension between its historic past and its potential future as a haven for contemporary art. At the very least, Cockatoo Island will continue its participation in the Biennale of Sydney, including its 22nd iteration taking place throughout the city starting March 14.
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A Monumental Exhibition

Solo exhibition at ICA Philadelphia explores our link to monuments
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania has unveiled Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves, on view through May 10, 2020. The Philadelphia-based artist and sculptor Karyn Olivier has readied a series of works centered around her personal explorations of monuments and memorials. With a particular focus on scale, Olivier describes her work as a combination of larger-than-life scale and the minute, modest gesture. Conceived as a revision and expansion of Olivier’s previous project, Everything That’s Alive Moves places monuments into new contexts that pose questions about the larger concepts of citizenship and responsibility. The exhibition includes a large-scale obelisk sculpture, a fully-functioning carousel for one rider, and a car built from repurposed shoes. In one installation, a floor-to-ceiling brick wall at the center of a gallery is intended to catch the eye as a spectrum of bright colors emerge from it—the piece, Wall (2017-2018), uses clothing wedged between the bricks in place of mortar, and the fabric cascades out of the rigid wall. “We are thrilled to present the work of local artist Karyn Olivier. Olivier’s ability to connect with the community and people through her work is profound,” said John McInerney, interim director at ICA, in a statement to ArtDaily. “She adeptly shifts our experience of the familiar to reveal the malleable and unfixed nature of objects and spaces, enabling us to ponder meaning, honor the past, while creating new possibilities.” Olivier has planned and built several memorials and public commissions herself, most recently being tapped to oversee the Dinah Memorial at Stenton, also known as the James Logan Home, in Philadelphia. Olivier also drew from her recent year of study in Rome, where she closely analyzed the intersection of the city’s public works with its history. “Karyn's searching curiosity is brilliantly indefatigable. Her sculpture incisive, her formal care and emotional responses to space simply searing,” said Anthony Elms, chief curator at the ICA. “What's more is that still her art contains enormous amounts of joy for and delight in our world and the people who, through gestures big and small, recognized or unnoticed, endure and thrive for all our betterment.” Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves is on view through May 10 at ICA. Admission is free and the show will be accompanied by a fully illustrated monograph set to be released later this year.
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Crystalline Architecture

Gio Ponti gets a loving retrospective at the MAXXI
Gio Ponti (1891-1979), the architect of the renowned Pirelli tower in Milan, is now the subject of a major retrospective at the MAXXI museum in Rome. While the Louvre’s MAD in Paris dedicated a major show to Ponti back in 2018— Tutto Ponti, Archi-Designer, it overwhelmingly celebrated his design production. This exhibition at the MAXXI, Gio Ponti. Loving Architecture, is primarily dedicated to Ponti’s multivalent architecture, and his projects have been given the kind of ample space and resources necessary to grasp the broad scope of Ponti’s very particular creative vision. Curated by Maristella Casciato and Fulvio Irace, and set in the upper gallery 5, it is the first major architecture exhibition to occupy this prominent gallery since Zaha Hadid’s own show there in 2017. For heightened effect, along with images of models shot by Thomas Demand, the exhibition includes photos of Ponti’s built works by eight contemporary photographers, providing original visual commentaries on how we see these works today. The exhibition features an incredible display of models, architectural documents, original photographs, consolidating Gio Ponti’s well-garnered role as a poetically driven architectural modernist. You get this sense from the way Ponti peels back architecture’s opaque materiality, revealing through subtle manipulations of form and content a certain lightness and playfulness that over the course of his career becomes increasingly elegant and refined. Ponti saw his architecture as a search for a special understanding of the ‘crystalline.’ The exhibition’s co-curator Fulvio Irace suggested that Ponti’s search for the crystalline form is not about modeling volume, but rather about “…its negation by way of the autonomy of the walls and of the roof.” One need only look at the interchangeable facade panels employed in the models of the Bijenkorf Department Store for Eindhoven (1964-1968), on display at MAXXI, to see just how inventively Ponti pulled this off. Ponti built extensively across Italy, and well beyond, in Stockholm, Caracas, Denver, Islamabad, Hong Kong. He collaborated professionally with Bernard Rudofsky in Capri back in the late thirties, and with Luigi Nervi after the war. Ponti launched magazines like Domus, wrote and published extensively, and he knit together a significant international network of patrons, manufacturers, and artists. Yet what remains somewhat intriguing, if not puzzling about Gio Ponti, is how he remains an outlier among the great architects of his day, if you consider the likes of Ernesto Rogers, Carlo Scarpa, Giovanni Michelucci, or Giancarlo De Carlo. When I posed this question to the Milanese-based architecture historian Luca Molinari, he came back with this observation:
“Giò Ponti was not loved by the Italian progressive and modernist vanguard because he had pursued a third, moderate, bourgeois and decorative way for his modern architecture. In addition to this, his ambiguous closeness to Fascism had not been forgiven by characters such as Bruno Zevi and Ernesto Rogers and therefore his position was very isolated at the level of the Academy and cultural elite.”
There is little question, today, however, that Gio Ponti’s body of work deserves another reevaluation, especially if we are also willing to recognize that such criticism also holds true for many star architectural practices that are considered at the top of their game today. Gio Ponti. Loving Architecture will be on display through April 13.
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Monuments Now

Artists challenge representation in Socrates Sculpture Park for MONUMENTS NOW
Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens has commissioned three new ‘monuments’ for the first phase of MONUMENTS NOW, an outdoor exhibition set to open on May 16, 2020. The pieces, by artists Jeffrey Gibson, Paul Ramírez Jonas, and Xaviera Simmons question the traditional role of commemorative structures in society and aim to salute underrepresented groups. “At a time when monuments are under intense scrutiny,” Kendal Henry, the director of Percent for Art Program at the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, said in a press release, “this exhibitions provides artists from diverse backgrounds a unique opportunity to redefine the monument and its role in remembering our country's past, as well as its effect on our present and future. Socrates Sculpture Park, with its nimble approach, is a perfect incubator for artists who can influence the field of monument-creating and public art.” Jeffrey Gibson, an interdisciplinary artist based in Hudson, New York, will present his monument Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House as a tribute to the ingenuity of indigenous peoples. A recipient of a 2019 MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, Gibson created a structure reminiscent of pre-Columbian Mississippian architecture shrouded in geometric posters that feature activist slogans. The piece ties North American indigenous history to contemporary activism graphics and queer camp performance art to push audiences to see the intricacy of collective identity. Gibson’s work has previously been shown at the Denver Art Museum, the New Museum in New York, and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MassMoCA). Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House will be exhibited alongside a communal grill monument called Eternal Flame, created by Brooklyn-based artist Paul Ramírez Jonas. The monument will explore the issues of immigration and identity as expressed through food and its preparation. Ramírez Jonas often uses everyday items in his work to challenge accepted societal values and behaviors. During his 25-year career, the artist’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City, the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, and the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas. MONUMENTS NOW will also include three monumental sculptures from interdisciplinary artist Xaviera Simmons. Her work, Untitled 2020, will use steel, wood, plaster, and paint to provoke conversations about racial disenfranchisement in the United States, citing historic documents and government policies that perpetuate racial discord. “The entirety of the United States itself is a monument to European expansionism and white nation-state building,” Simmons told AN. “These monuments are another way into the American narrative, into the formal as it relates to sculpture, and also into a contemporary narrative both historically and creatively.” A recipient of the 2018 Agnes Gund Art for Justice Award and the 2018 Denniston Hill’s Distinguished Performance Artist Award, Simmons’s photography, performance, and sculptural work investigates political and social histories and has been exhibited at the David Castillo Gallery in Miami, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The second phase of MONUMENTS NOW will open in September and feature ten artists selected through an open call. The year-long exhibition will be completed in October with the opening of the Next Generation sculpture, created by high school students enrolled in the Socrates Sculpture Park's educational program, Socrateens (the pieces from the first phase will remain up). Enabled by the support of the Ford Foundation, VIA Art Fund, and the Andy Warhol Foundation, the exhibition was curated by Jess Wilcox, the director of exhibitions at the Socrates Sculpture Park, and aims to start conversations about monuments in society. “As a forum for public art, and as a cultural anchor in the most diverse county in America--Queens, New York--Socrates is the ideal venue to present nuanced artist-driven perspectives on the controversial issue of monuments and to facilitate discussion about cultural values,” said John Hatfield, executive director of the park.
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Tearing Down the Ceiling

A rarely-seen Noguchi installation is under threat in Midtown renovation
A one-of-a-kind Isamu Noguchi installation is under threat in Manhattan at 666 Fifth Avenue, an office tower undergoing major renovations by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF). The New York Times reported that the sculpture, which spans the ceiling of the 41-story building’s twin lobbies, might be dismantled and sold off in parts. Since the interior space isn’t protected by landmark status, preservationists are worried whether the piece has a fighting chance to survive. The installation, referenced by Noguchi as “a landscape of clouds,” was designed in 1957 and features a series of white aluminum blades backlit from above. Joseph Giovannini of The Times noted that the undulating blades resemble an upside-down ocean. “The entire space glows,” he wrote and, paired with a matching vertical installation in a nearby passageway in which water rippled down and fell into a plant bed, the site once served as “an acoustic oasis in Midtown.”
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The Noguchi sculpture, now 63 years old, doesn’t reflect the artist’s original design intent, according to building’s developer Brookfield Properties. The building itself, designed by New York firm Carson & Lundin, has been subject to multiple controversial ownership changes over its lifespan and several serious renovations, the first of which included the lobby and lower floors in 1998. During that $20 million project, it was also anticipated that the Noguchi sculpture would be removed, but the building's owner, Sumitomo Realty & Development, instead rehabilitated the piece and restored the waterfall mentioned above.  That wasn’t the last time the artwork was in danger. Before the 2008 recession, Kushner Properties purchased 666 Fifth Avenue in a move to re-establish itself post-family scandal and, years later before Brookfield bought the building, Kushner planned to redevelop the entire site into a 1,400-foot supertall designed by Zaha Hadid Architects Brookfield’s aim, like so many developers before it, is to make the building continuously profitable. To do so, the company announced a $400 million renovation project last fall which will not only revamp the internal lobby, but also its public appearance. KPF has proposed replacing the building’s thick aluminum skin with a custom glass curtain wall, as well as adding four outdoor terraces for tenants to use during the warmer months. The renderings, released last October, reveal drastic changes to the six-decade-old structure, as Brookfield intends to reposition it as coveted office space in busy Midtown with sweeping views of the city.  Internally, KPF plans to upgrade the lobby with amenity and retail space, while also knocking out the columns that previously shortened floor heights and blocked access to daylight. New double-height ceilings and interconnected floors will allow companies to easily maneuver through multiple stories. The new rent for the building, which is now valued at $1.29 billion, will be among the most expensive in New York.  While many of the changes described here seem promising (including the fact that the building’s iconic name will be changed to 660 Fifth Avenue), the Noguchi problem remains. Brookfield now holds a 99-year lease on the tower and its vision for a modern Midtown lobby doesn’t include the artwork. It determined that the late ’90s renovation, which deconstructed the original lobby’s marble floors and walls, destroyed the integrity of the sculpture’s preservation. But a board member of Docomomo’s New York/Tri-State chapter told The Times that the sculpture is as good as it’s going to get: “You already have this strong, creative treatment of the walls and the ceiling and you can’t expect to come up with something nearly as artistically effective again,” said John Morris Dixon. “Why risk it when you’ve got it already? The lobby is a great asset that gives a high degree of individuality to the building.”  Brookfield and KPF plan to complete the entire renovation by 2023. Representatives of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum said that it will do everything possible to make sure the artwork is still there when all is said and done.
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Lovell Health House hosts temporary art exhibition of Eva Claessens’s artwork
While the future of Richard Neutra’s world-famous Lovell Health House remains uncertain, as its current owner is seeking a preservation-minded buyer, new life has been breathed into the Los Angeles home as it temporarily takes on a new function. Belgium-born, Uruguay-based artist Eva Claessens has taken over the home’s main living and outdoor spaces for a three-day pop-up exhibition of her paintings and prints that runs from February 23 through February 25. The event marks Claessens’ U.S. debut, as well as the home’s first time hosting an art exhibition. When seeing the work hung up casually throughout the structure’s interiors and its grounds, however, one might assume the space had always intended to display large-scale artwork. The home has the air of a lived-in gallery thanks to the crisp white walls and wide-open spaces, originally designed for individual and group exercises led by naturopathic doctor Philip Lovell. “A white gallery did not feel like the right place for me to show my work,” said Claessens in a press statement. “I wanted to find a place that reflected my aesthetic and the way I live. I live my life very much the same way as Dr. Lovell did, and my work reflects this.” The artist’s minimal yet gestural brushwork and interpersonal subject matter can also be compared to Neutra’s sketches, which often used as few lines of charcoal as possible to render entire scenes and the lives within them. The Lovell House’s current state of cosmetic disrepair fueled the artist’s creativity while curating her exhibition. “I see houses as living artwork and love restoring old houses,” she continued. “The more ruin they [are] in, the more my imagination [can] run free.” That is why Claessens is collaborating with photographer Yoshihiro Makino and filmmaker Romain Dussaulx to document the three-day exhibition as a short film to be screened at the LA Design Festival later this year. “This project,”  said Claessens, “is a marriage of four artists; Neutra’s architecture and my work with Yoshi’s photography and Romain’s storytelling.”
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Anna Neimark brings a full-scale megalith to SCI-Arc Gallery
For her first project within the SCI-Arc GalleryAnna Neimark has produced a space that blurs the lines between exhibition and installation. Upon entering Rude forms among us, visitors may first be struck by the latter appropriation of the space as they encounter a dark, hulking structure occupying the majority of the gallery’s floor space. Before it was built at a full-scale within these walls, the installation was a proposal for an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) Neimark designed as co-founder and principal of Los Angeles-based architecture firm First Office. “Without too many explanations,” the gallery text reads, “we happen upon a rude form that brings us to a time that is at some remove from our own. Its resolution is low, not high. Its joints are butted, not mitered. Its gaps are shimmed, not sculpted. It al­ludes to the architecture of forgotten narratives, eroded tectonics, and mud­dled grammar.” While this is indeed the “rude form” the title warns us about prior to entry, we are quick to learn that, above all, the structure is forthright—both in its construction and interior circulation. The deliberately slapdash method of assembly, in other words, exposes its inner workings to align it with other buildings of expressive tectonics with little to hide. Yet the object is especially forthright in its design origins, thanks to the imagery and text along the gallery walls—the exhibition half of the space. Neimark collaborated with Frédérique Gaillard, head of the photo library at the Natural History Museum in Toulouse, France, to curate and transport photographs of the Dolmen de Vaour, a megalithic tomb made of upright stone, that were taken by 19th-century naturalist and explorer Eugène Trutat. Like other ancient stone structures, the Dolmen de Vaour has stood the test of time despite its peculiar configuration, and the faithful documentation provided by Trutat over 140 years ago appears to revel in the tomb’s inherent awkwardness. Even the ADU’s interior, devoid of the domestic functions originally planned for it, is treated as a gallery space of its own. One area contains two “portrait” photographs of the Dolmen de Vaour on a pedestal, and another places a miniature model of the ADU itself below a faraway spotlight that elevates its clumsy composition to holy heights. Altogether, Rude forms among us advocates and builds on the legacy of timelessness that is not of symmetrical structures and illusions of precision, but rather that of imperfection and the apparent honesty that it can project. Rude forms among us was created in partnership with the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Toulouse, The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Alliance Française de Los Angeles, and will be on display until March 15.
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Losing Their Marbles

E.U. requests Elgin Marbles return to Greece from British Museum post-Brexit
During his visit to Athens over two hundred years ago, British diplomat Lord Elgin absconded with nearly half of the Parthenon’s architectural marble sculptures and bas relief panels and transported them by sea to Britain over an 11 year period. The event, no doubt, is infamous not only in the minds of Greek citizens, who resent that they are now on display in London’s British Museum. But the absence is especially felt by the curators of Athens’ Acropolis Museum, where the remaining half is displayed among a set of pale facsimiles that will be cheerfully replaced whenever the “Elgin Marbles” return from their unwarranted journey up north. In a surprising turn of events, it seems the 2,500-year-old statuary might be returned amidst Europe’s current political turmoil. If the United Kingdom wishes to continue trading with the European Union post-Brexit, according to a recently leaked clause in the European Union's (E.U.) negotiating mandate, it must return the Elgin Marbles back to Greece. The clause’s declaration that the U.K. must now be committed to the “return or restitution of unlawfully removed cultural objects to their country of origin” has put the marbles front-and-center of the raging trade debate. Of course, Britain and Greece have been arguing over the Elgin Marbles for years—Greece claims they were taken without permission while under occupation and should be repatriated, while Britain has claimed this could open the door to returning an untenable amount of cultural assets to other countries. But the transaction is not yet set in stone. Negotiators on either side are set to begin a much-needed conversation next month and will attempt to reach an agreement by November 26, when a trade deal must be presented to European Parliament for ratification. Currently, the U.K. refuses to give up the marbles, stating that their acquisition was lawful at the time given Greece’s occupation within the then-existent Ottoman Empire. According to ARTnews, a spokeswoman for the British government said in a statement on Tuesday that the Elgin Marbles are, therefore, “the legal responsibility of the British Museum,” and that they are “not up for discussion as part of our trade negotiations.” “I would expect some of these negotiations to be rather difficult," E.U. aide Stefaan de Rynck told French politician Michel Barnier in a public statement. “Perhaps more difficult than during withdrawal because the scope of issues is much vaster.”
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Mr. Brainwash will convert a Richard Meier-designed building into a Beverly Hills art museum
Only three months after the announcement the Paley Center for Media would be departing the Richard Meier-designed home in Beverly Hills it has occupied since 1996, a new tenant has already been confirmed. Thierry Guetta (aka Mr. Brainwash), a French street artist who gained notoriety following the release of the 2010 mockumentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, has signed a lease to temporarily transform the 26,500-square-foot space into a museum of his own after scoping out an exhibition space for over a year. “The building, which almost fell into my lap, is my Cinderella slipper," Guetta told the Art Newspaper. "It fits perfectly." Since moving to Los Angeles, Guetta has already taken over several properties throughout the city to produce and store his artwork. The latest lease, however, reflects an initiative to exhibit that work to a public audience. The artist has also stated that the building will also be used for presenting group shows, some of which may be themed with loans from local institutions in conjunction with pieces from his own collection. The building’s facilities lend themselves to other museum functions as well, including a 150-seat theater for which the artist is planning public and private talks and screenings. “I want to show different sides of myself," he added. "All I have kept inside for so many years. Imagine a pressure cooker, about to explode. That’s me!” The former Museum of Television & Radio was originally purchased in 2018 for $80 million by the luxury brand LVMH, which plans to eventually demolish the three-story structure and build a hotel on the site. Guetta will receive the keys in March, and is planning to present his first exhibition in the space this Spring. Pairing the glassy building’s location on a heavily trafficked corner with the artist’s notoriety and connection to Banksy, one can expect that the exhibition space will receive a lot of attention during its run.