All posts in Highlight

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Building as Ever

2017 California-Pacific Triennial explores architecture’s instability

The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) is currently displaying the work of 25 artists and artists’ collectives in the 2017 California-Pacific Triennial exhibition. The showcase—subtitled Building as Ever—focuses on the “architecture and the temporal precariousness of the building environment” across the 12 Pacific Rim nations the artists call home.

OCMA Senior Curator Cassandra Coblentz explained the triennial themes in a statement: “In time of rapid growth and accelerated construction around the Pacific Rim, we can no longer consider architecture as permanent. The need for revised thinking on time relative to the built environment has taken on a new urgency.”

Among others, the exhibition features the work of Hong Kong–based artist Stanley Wong (anothermountainman), Los Angeles–based artist Carmen Argote, Seattle-based architecture firm Lead Pencil Studio, and South Korea–based sculptor Haegue Yang. The museum intends to publish an exhibition catalogue featuring essays by experts such as Coblentz and San Diego, California–based architect Teddy Cruz.

2017 California-Pacific Triennial: Building as Ever Orange County Museum of Art 850 San Clemente Drive Newport Beach, CA Through September 3

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Design Episodes

The Art Institute of Chicago highlights its most enigmatic design pieces

In anticipation of the Art Institute of Chicago opening a permanent architecture and design gallery, Design Episodes: Form, Style, Language highlights some of the museum’s most enigmatic pieces from its vast design collection. The show is divided into three sections: the modern chair, early postmodern design, and contemporary graphic design. Chairs on show include pieces by designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Rudolph Schindler, and Charlotte Perriand. The postmodern section includes the colorful work of the radical Italian Memphis Group, its founder, architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, and Austrian architectural firm Coop Himmelblau. The show focuses on a diverse array of contemporary commercial and cultural graphic design work. Graphic designer Amir Berbić produced a custom installation entitled Boundary Lines, which fills the gallery windows overlooking Griffin Court, broadcasting the exhibition to the rest of the museum.

Design Episodes: Form, Style, Language Art Institute of Chicago 11 S Michigan Avenue Chicago Through July 9

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Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish

Immersive LED installation by artist Pipilotti Rist goes on view at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

After a smashing success as part of a retrospective of visual and multimedia artist Pipilotti Rist at New York’s New Museum, Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish were acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The Swiss artist created Pixel Forest with lighting designer Kaori Kuwabara, constructing thousands of hanging jewel-toned LED lights that shift in waves of color. Worry Will Vanish is a projected video that occupies a corner of the room and takes the viewer through dreamy nature scenes and distorted views of the human body. Conceived separately but displayed together, the immersive experience transports the viewer into Rist’s world.

Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 1001 Bissonnet, Houston Through September 17

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Unpacking the Archive

As Frank Lloyd Wright turns 150, the MoMA immerses visitors in 450 works by the iconic American architect

The Museum of Modern Art is throwing Frank Lloyd Wright a birthday party by brushing the dust off of some of his oldest works in the new exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive.

Opening June 12, four days after the architect’s 150th birthday, the exhibit features approximately 450 works in the form of drawings, models, films, furniture, textiles, photos, and building fragments. The works are organized into 12 sections to present Wright’s work as an anthology, exploring the timeline of major events and projects in his life and career.

A catalogue will accompany the exhibition, featuring newly photographed drawings, models, and buildings, as well as a series of critiques and essays by guest scholars—including a piece by Barry Bergdoll, curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA and organizer of the exhibit.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive The Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd Street, New York June 12–October 1

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Anthropocene Art

MAK Center hosts exhibit on how materials lose their roots in an age of globalization

The MAK Center in Los Angeles will be showcasing the multi-locational exhibition Wasser by Berlin-based artist Mandla Reuter this spring.

The exhibition’s components will be on view simultaneously at the MAK Center’s Kings Road House and Fitzpatrick-Leland House in Los Angeles, and aboard a container ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. A large marble block quarried on the island of Thasos, Greece, will move across the sea in the shipping container en route to the Port of Los Angeles. Parallel installations will take place at the two other sites: The Kings Road House will play host to a “sparse” installation meant to complement the block’s journey while the Fitzpatrick-Leland House—where Reuter, currently an artist-in-residence, has collected several other artists and their works—will be acting as a living museum-studio.

In all, Wasser is meant to reflect “on the perpetual movement of sited materials and delocalized resources across the world,” according to a statement. Wasser’s ephemeral, multi-locus nature is also meant as a commentary on globalization and the so-called Anthropocene, “an age where entire continents are no longer geologically shaped by nature but altered exclusively for reasons of trade and politics, until no part of the world remains unaffected by mankind.”

Mandla Reuter: Wasser The MAK Center 835 North Kings Road West Hollywood, California Through June 4, 2017

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Through May 14

Do Ho Suh recreates his NYC apartment and studio in fabric for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

The eponymous Do Ho Suh exhibition is currently on show at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wisconsin. The multi-part installation show explores large form architectural fabric sculptures, documentary films, illuminated sculptures, and works on paper. The centerpiece of the show is a full-scale replica of the South Korean artist’s New York City apartment and studio made completely from translucent colored fabric. Other pieces include selections from Suh’s Specimen Series, comprising of typical domestic appliances reproduced in diaphanous fabric, and displayed in lit plexiglass boxes. Visitors can also view Suh’s 2012 Secret Garden–1, a 1:16 scale model and animation of Suh’s Korean home mounted on the back of a flatbed truck. Do Ho Suh is organized by The Contemporary Austin with additional support by Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

Do Ho Suh Madison Museum of Contemporary Art 227 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin Through May 14, 2017

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New Romance

Liam Young’s films explore how technology will shape cities and daily life

Liam Young: New Romance is the first solo exhibition for the filmmaker, storyteller, futurist, and architect in the U.S., presented by the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia. Young’s work is an examination of fiction, technology, and the near future through cinema and visualization. The exhibit will feature three of Young’s short films: In the Robot Skies (2016), an exploration of love in the time of drone surveillance; Where the City Can’t See (2016), a look at subcultures in the near-future world of data shot entirely with laser scanning technology; and Young’s most recent film, Renderlands (2017), a look at the half-realities of rendered worlds built with the leftovers of digital rendering projects. Alongside the films will be several props Young created for the work and research he utilized for his fictitious cinematic universes, emphasizing his focus on existing technologies and networks and how he begins to project them into unknown futures.

Liam Young: New Romance The Ross Gallery in Buell Hall Columbia University 1172 Amsterdam Avenue, New York City Through May 13, 2017

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Green Light

Olafur Eliasson invites refugees and asylum seekers to craft lighting designs at The Moody Center for the Arts

The Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University opened in Houston to much fanfare with exhibitions by practitioners including Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and Japanese collective teamLab to kick off its first season. Green light – An artistic workshop is the brainchild of Eliasson in collaboration with the Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) of Vienna. In its first trip to the U.S., the workshop aims to give refugees and asylum seekers a “green light” to participate in a variety of programs to elicit creativity and community. The workshop invites participants to construct modular green lamps designed by Eliasson out of recycled materials, which can stand alone as singular units or be stacked into more complex constructions. The hope for the work is to create an environment where communities can collide and create together in a playful and collaborative environment. “Green light is an act of welcoming, addressed both to those who have fled hardship and instability in their home countries and to the residents of the cities receiving them,” said Eliasson in a statement. “I hope Green light shines light on some of the challenges and responsibilities arising from the current refugee crisis in Europe and throughout the world.”

Green light – An artistic workshop The Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University 6100 Main Street, Houston Through May 6, 2017

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Emilio Sanchez

Exhibition showcases 60 years of a Cuban-American painter’s exploration of vernacular architecture

The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). You can see all those articles on this page. Here, Senior Editor Matt Shaw’s editorial from that issue highlights what we’ve explored in the Sunshine State.

Emilio Sanchez in South Florida Collections marks the artist’s first show in South Florida in over a decade. The Cuban-American painter’s work is largely centered on his time in Cuba and the Caribbean and, later on, in New York City. His paintings depict the vernacular of his surroundings, often finding inspiration in existing structures and scenes and transforming them into abstract and surreal portraits. “His keen eye and remarkable ability to edit out incidental elements and details imbue the work with a dreamlike quality, as if the buildings he depicted existed in a parallel universe born of memory, longing, and imagination,” said co-curator Victor Deupi, an architecture scholar, in an interview with Cuban Art News. The exhibition encompasses six decades of Sanchez’s professional career, displaying paintings from the 1940s through the 1990s. Alongside his paintings, the museum will display sketchbooks, doodles, and other personal documents to paint a better picture, if you will, of this artist’s prolific work.

EMILIO SANCHEZ IN SOUTH FLORIDA COLLECTIONS Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami 1301 Stanford Drive Coral Gables, Florida Through May 21, 2017

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Spaces Without Drama

Graham Foundation exhibit explores set design, collage, and architectural representation

The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts’ spring exhibition Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth will examine the proliferation of collage in architectural representation, specifically in scenography and theatrical set design. The show has invited contemporary designers to rethink the relationship between theatricality and architecture, while drawing on historical references from 19th-century toy theaters through Aldo Rossi’s Little Scientific Theater. The show features the work of a wide range of architects and artists, including Argentinian architects Emilio Ambasz and Gerardo Caballero, Portuguese firm fala atelier, Brazilian architect Marcelo Ferraz, and British architect Sam Jacob, as well as American offices Johnston Marklee, MOS Architects, and Norman Kelley.

Other contributing architects include OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Cecilia Puga, Aldo Rossi, Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo, and Pezo Von Ellrichshausen. Artists in the show include Pablo Bronstein, William Leavitt, Silke Otto-Knapp, Gabriel Sierra, Batia Suter, as well as dramaturge Jorge Palinhos. Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth is curated by the Mexico City–based LIGA, Space4Architecture, Ruth Estévez, and PRODUCTORA founder Wonne Ickx.

Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth The Graham Foundation Madlener House 4 West Burton Place, Chicago Through May 27, 2017

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Through May 21

“Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia” arrives at Berkeley’s BAMPFA

Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, which celebrates the design objects and artworks created during the 1960s radical counterculture era, is making a West Coast appearance at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) this semester.

The multimedia-rich exhibition arrives in the Bay Area after a short stint at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and an inaugural showing at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. BAMPFA, recently relocated and expanded in bombastic fashion by New York City architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is a fitting location for the out-there works on display, which for this showing will include more than 70 Bay Area–specific artifacts highlighting the confluence of high modernism and counterculture modes during that time. The exhibition, whose Berkeley run is curated by Lawrence Rinder, the director of BAMPFA, and Greg Castillo, associate professor of architecture at UC Berkeley, will run in parallel to Hippie Modernism: Cinema and Counterculture, 1964–1974, a four-month-long film series organized by Kate MacKay, associate film curator.

Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive 2155 Center Street, Berkeley, California Through May 21, 2017

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Sublime Landscapes

New exhibition at the Arkansas Art Center highlights the early works of Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams: Early Works, the first exhibition of Ansel Adams’s photography hosted by the Arkansas Arts Center, will showcase 41 prints done by Adams from the 1920s through the 1950s, highlighting his small-scale images. Adams was known for his photography of natural sites such as Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and the Sierra Nevadas, and this exhibition will tie into the completion of the 100th anniversary of the National Park System. According to the Arkansas Arts Center, Adams wasb a “photographer, musician, naturalist, explorer, critic, and teacher, was a giant in the field of American landscape photography. His work can be viewed as the end of an arc of American art concerned with capturing the ‘sublime’ in the unspoiled Western landscape.”

Ansel Adams: Early Works Arkansas Arts Center 501 East 9th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas Through April 16, 2017