Posts tagged with "Exhibitions":

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The HKIA brings Hong Kong architecture to L.A. in Island__Peninsula

An upcoming exhibition will bring together two vastly different cities on opposite sides of the same ocean. Organized by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA), Island__Peninsula is a 14-day public exhibition which aims to compare the contrasting urban landscapes of both Los Angeles and its Chinese counterpart while illustrating what they believe to be a unique “Hong Kong style”.  Sixteen exhibits have bene organized under four themes that encompass the architecture of Hong Kong: glamor, efficiency, orderliness, and constant change. The exhibits will be displayed in the form of “islands”, a concept inspired by a 1975 novel, Island and Peninsula, by Liu Yichang which explores fragments of daily life in the Chinese city composed of 263 islands.  Accordingly, Island__Peninsula will offer a range of both built and conceptual work at various scales from individual homes, high-density towers, streetscapes, and community facilities. Works on view will include a theater emphasizing the traditional Chinese craft of bamboo scaffolding, speculations on transit-oriented developments, and how a university project adapts to the undulating hillside terrain of the city.  Under the “Land of Efficiency” theme, one exhibitor opened a dialogue between the two cities through a project called “Case Study Tower”. Employing the symbolism of Art & Architecture’s Case Study Houses, Chiu Ning and Lau Wai Kin multiplied and composed imagery and drawings of the homes to visualize a fictional tower typical of Hong Kong’s residences.  In concurrence with the exhibition, an interactive installation titled “Skyline Cello” will be on view at Hysan Place in Hong Kong. The artist, Keith Lam, “uses the skyline of Hong Kong and Los Angeles as musical score”, encouraging visitors to create their own "music of the city."  Island__Peninsula was co-curated by Chang Hoi Wood and So Kwok Kin and will run from September 19 through October 2 at the Westfield Oasis Space at Westfield Century City, Los Angeles. 
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Must-see exhibitions this September

At a loss for all the architecture and design shows on view this fall? AN has rounded up a quick list of must-see exhibitions this month from New York to Chicago, London, and Switzerland. Check them out below and head to one near you: What is radical today? 40 positions on architecture Royal Academy of Arts Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD, U.K. September 6 through November 7, 2019 Spanning the decades between the social uprisings of the 1960s to the present, this free display of boundary-pushing architectural work at the Royal Academy in London brings together 40 architects and collectives, then and now, in a powerful exhibition. The show comments on how architecture can alter lives in times of upheaval and turbulence—as pressures of climate change, violence and complicity continue to permeate the individual existence in society. From groundbreaking 20th-century groups like Archigram to contemporary practitioners like Francis Kéré, the proposed spaces surpass any assumptions of ageism and leave echoes of optimism to face the times. Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors  The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77005 July 20 through September 22, 2019 On the heels of the Finnish artist’s acceptance of the 2019 Ars Fennica Prize, Kjartansson’s immersive video exhibition The Visitors has landed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The nine-screen video installation is spread throughout several galleries, with each screen centering on an individual musician playing for the camera in a room of the Astor family’s Rokeby Farm House in Hudson, New York. The house, built in 1815, is a fitting backdrop for the artists’ admiration for nostalgia and romanticism in his works and adds a drama and grandeur to the audio and visual experience.  Filmed in one take, the musicians all play individual portions of the same song, but in disparate rooms where they are unable to hear one another. As a viewer in the MFA Houston, one becomes a ‘visitor’ to the house, a witness to a performance that occurs, in totality, only for them.  Chairs Beyond Right & Wrong R & Company 64 White Street New York NY 10013 September 10 through October 19, 2019 This September, both floors of R & Company’s White Street gallery will be encompassed by a retrospective of the chair: a formal object, a consumer product, a springboard for creativity. The assumptions that accompany our idea of what a chair is, or what it can be, are challenged by a group of 50 international artists and designers.  Some of the objects in the show have been created specifically for this exhibition while some were chosen by curator Raquel Cayre for their unique ability to move away from preexisting notions of function and form. “Chairs no longer gravitate toward a table;” said Cayre, “they take on their own meaning.” Alan Karchmer: The Architect’s Photographer The National Building Museum 401 F Street NW Washington, D.C 20001 Opening November 9, 2019 Buildings, like art, are mostly experienced today via their photographs and digital media, as location inhibits in-person interaction for most. The way a photographer captures a building, its angles and elevations, therefore has a profound effect on how the building is seen by the world—and often if it’s seen at all. Sometimes certain images of a building can even become icons in themselves, and people begin to conceptualize of a space in the way the photograph they’ve seen suggests, often surprising visitors when and if they see it in person.  Alan Karchmer has made a name for himself for his ability to capture the essence of a building, the way the architect intended. Working the full spectrum of architectural styles, from soaring works by Calatrava to the quietudes of Tadao Ando, this mid-career exhibition shows us how an artist’s eye can enhance our experience of some of the world’s best spaces. Christian Marclay: 48 War Movies and Screams Paula Cooper Gallery  524 W. 26th Street, New York NY 10001 September 12 through October 19, 2019 Renowned video artist Christian Marclay brings his newest film, 48 War Movies, to America following its debut at the Venice Biennale. On display at Paula Cooper Gallery, the video is a collage of gruesome war footage from the Civil War to Iraq, a cacophony of violence and sound that, when installed at the Biennale, literally bled into adjoining rooms.  The narratives are presented simultaneously through the lens of concentric rectangles on screen. The unflinching presentation of this raw violence sheds new light on how society conventionally handles trauma: the pasted-on smile, the cool facade. Marclay instead offers a continuous scream, an externalization of emotion, and a way of facing our history rather than hiding from it.  All That Is Solid  Chicago Pedway (Chicago Architecture Biennial) August 28 through October 11, 2019 This site-specific intervention by architect and professor Ang Li encourages passersby to reflect on the afterlives of materials. Cubes of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) that were cleaned and diverted from landfill stand sculpturally arranged, like windows with our everyday disposable food containers pressed up to the panes.  This artificial and hyper-modern material is the tool of choice for the exhibition, as it encourages pedestrians to engage in a series of building experiments. Inspired by industrial inventory-taking practices, the installation offers a reflection on our culture of single-use disposables as well as a more sustainable future.  The Art of Waiting: Gianni Berengo Gardin Photographs Renzo Piano The Italian Cultural Institute New York 686 Park Avenue New York, NY September 10 through October 10, 2019 Italian artist Gianni Berengo Gardin is not an architectural photographer, but his 20-year collaborative effort with renowned architect Renzo Piano has resulted in over 10,000 images that document the progress and process of Piano’s best buildings. Working in a signature slow style, often observing a construction site from morning until night, the collection that has resulted is one that shows the life and building blocks of Renzo’s forms, rather than the limelight of the finished product.  “Gardin has always managed to see and preserve these magical moments that vanish if you don’t capture them,” said Piano. Photographs included in this exhibition have been selected by Gardin himself, a narrative of building evolutions rarely seen by the public.  Topiary Tango  Center for Architecture 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012 July 11 through September 14, 2019 In rooms filled with live plants and carpets of green, Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant recipient Mark Zlotsky curates a show around the art of sculptural plant trimming, also known as topiary. Inspired by travels through the great gardens of western Europe, Topiary Tango explores the relationship between topiary and architecture, and how the plantings can be seen not as pithy ornamentation, but as a building material.  In this playful yet academically rigorous installation, Zlotsky proposes an architecture that responds to ever-changing contexts and offers a creative solution to enlivening static structures.  Swissness Applied Kunsthaus Glarus Güterschuppen Im Volksgarten, 8750 Glarus, Switzerland September 21 through November 10, 2019 Cofounder of Architecture Office Nicole McIntosh takes cues from her home country of Switzerland in her traveling exhibition Swissness Applied. An examination of the architectural codification of European immigrant town New Glarus, Wisconsin, McIntosh shows drawings and models of the quintessentially “Swiss” styles of architecture that the town grew from, and eventually exploited for touristic gain when facing economic depression in the 50s. Now a thriving tourist attraction, New Glarus instituted rules regarding architectural building in the 90s to maintain its unique aesthetic and appeal, but McIntosh proposes new opportunities within the building code to connect modern forms to their integral “Swissness.” Her playful models will be exhibited in celebration of the reopening of the Kunsthaus.
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Seattle Architecture Foundation will open 22nd Annual Architectural Model Exhibit

The Seattle Architecture Foundation is set to open Symbiosis, the 22nd edition of its Annual Architectural Model Exhibit next month. Curated in the foundation’s on-site gallery, Symbiosis will bring together the work of 25 local architects and designers from September 12 through November 23 and will be free to the public. As has been the case for over two decades, participants in the exhibition will have the unique opportunity to connect with visitors through models, drawings, renderings, videos, and accompanying text.

This year, several innovative design practices in the area, including NBBJ, Olson Kundig, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Perkins + Will, LMN Architects, and Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape, have been asked to contribute work based on a central theme. According to the foundation’s website, Symbiosis “celebrates mutually beneficial relationships and the positive products and constructive outcomes of interdependence.” An opening reception with local designers and architects will be held on September 11 and is open to paying members of the public.

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Waterfront exhibits a total history of Brooklyn's coastline

Waterfront Brooklyn Historical Society DUMBO Empire Stores 55 Water St. Brooklyn, NY On view through December 1, 2022 The first major exhibition on the history of Brooklyn’s vast coastline is now on view at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s DUMBO location in Empire Stores. Designed by New York studio Pure+Applied in collaboration with production firms Potion and batwin + robin productions, Waterfront engages visitors through digital interactive storytelling techniques, Kinect technology, archaeological artifacts, and even oysters, to highlight over 100 years of local narratives. The large showcase centers around 12 concept areas that detail the past development of Brooklyn’s shore and speculate on its future in the face of climate change, sea level rise, and gentrification. Both children and adults can uncover the secrets of the borough’s shoreline and the people that worked there. A section dedicated to the factory women workers of the Navy Yard provides a dress-up playspace while a magnetic wall offers visitors the chance to create a personalized waterfront. The multimedia exhibition not only zeroes in on the activists, innovators, neighborhoods, and ecosystems that have made Brooklyn’s waterfront what it is today, but it also unveils the coastline’s significance at a global scale.
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Rejected spotlights denied, trashed, and half-conceived architectural ideas

Rejection; we're all familiar with having our ideas turned down. Now, from August 23 through October 4 at the Banvard Gallery at The Ohio State University's Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture, curators Team B Architecture & Design have reached out to architects and designers for Rejected, a show that will give rejected work its due. That includes interiors, streetscapes from Denise Scott Brown, cabins, and mediations on what failure and rejected schemes mean in the grand scheme of academia, when traditionally, winning proposals are the ones that are preserved for future generations to study. What's lost when we let winners write the narrative? Rejected, in the same vein as Stanley Tigerman’s 1976 counter-show to 100 Years of Architecture in Chicago, seeks to widen the narrative about what has "worth" in the field. The text that follows was written by the Architect's Newspaper's Executive Editor Matt Shaw for the show, and examines those who voluntarily wrap themselves in the mantle of rejection and what that entails. Rejected can be found at 275 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, 43210. Graphic design for the show was done by Garrett Corcoran. I like the topic of "rejection." According to urbandictionary.com, a "reject" is "Someone who gets rejected from a group of friends or basiclly [sic] life. For example, someone might say, "Go away you fuckin [sic] reject, you have no friends, we all hate you." This seems like a great starting point for a show.[i]  [Redacted][ii] Rejection seems like an important topic in today's world. A quick search on 2knowmyself.com, generates a series of user-submitted questions, such as "Does rejection mean you are ugly".[iii] A deep reflection on love and self-identity, this seemingly juvenile query seems to be at the heart of your show. What does it mean to be rejected, and to be a reject? Within our hyper-capitalist neoliberal society, technology has played an increased role in how we see ourselves. According to South Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han in his book Psychopolitics (Verso, 2018), smartphones and social media are commodified to the point where they have tapped into our psyches to exploit us. They accomplish this by creating a system where we exploit ourselves by constantly monitoring our own behavior, checking for likes and affirmation in the virtual sphere. It is like Foucault's panopticon, except even more abstract and sinister, as each of us is our own guard. Rather than a biopolitics—the organization and exploitation of bodies in an industrial world—Han calls this neoliberal technological exploitation psychopolitics, or the exploitation of the psyche. “Instead of forbidding and depriving it works through pleasing and fulfilling. Instead of making people compliant, it seeks to make them dependent.”[iv] If neoliberalism wants us to seek affirmation, then seeking and celebrating rejection must be a healthy alternative. Team B is kind of like the incels of the architecture world. What is an incel? It is an involuntary celibate, a person who cannot have sex, despite wanting to. It is a state of constant and nihilistic rejection, which is referred to as “inceldom.” In dark corners of the internet, the incels have created an online subculture. At its worst, these incels become radicalized and turn to violence, including mass shootings. [Redacted][v]  In the 2014 Isla Vista shootings, gunman Eliot Rodger left a manifesto, which has been regarded as an incel hagiography, and referenced by other mass shooters since. In My Twisted World The Story of Elliot Rodger by Rodger, he says:
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).  
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Frank Lloyd Wright's Beth Sholom synagogue to be activated with new exhibition

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1959 Beth Sholom synagogue in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, is poised for an artistic "activation," as artist David Hartt prepares to debut an exhibition blending sculpture, painting, film, tapestry, plants, and sound to bring a narrative of diaspora to life within the iconic structure.  Opening on September 11 and running through December 19, David Hartt: The Histories (Le Mancenillier) uses Hartt’s various artistic mediums to comment on the shared connection between the stories of both the Jewish and black diasporas. Wright’s synagogue will remain active throughout the show, however, and a challenge for Hartt is to create artwork that will complement, rather than overwhelm, the space and its essential function.  The parenthesized portion of the exhibition title refers to the Manchineel tree, a highly poisonous tree native to the Mediterranean basin, but also the title of a 19th-century piano composition by Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Gottschalk came from a family of mixed German Jewish and Creole descent, and he became known for his melanges of Afro-Caribbean melodies with the classical European tradition. This discovery became a spark of inspiration for Hartt, inciting a trio of works, currently in production by the artist, with the Wright show coming as the first. “I was very interested in the idea of the black and Jewish diasporas as being intertwined,” Hartt told the Art Newspaper, “and I was really interested in the space itself simultaneously hosting two different cultural identities.” The infused nature of the narrative is informed both my Hartt’s professional artistic practice, as well as his professorship in the University of Pennsylvania’s fine arts department. The space will largely be filled with sound, as inspired by the Gottschalk discovery. Acting as an immersive element for viewers of the show, Hartt commissioned new recordings of Gottschalk’s work to accompany the artworks, as well as live performances that feature Jewish, Carribean, and African-American music.  The connections between these two seemingly disparate histories will continue to reveal themselves through Hartt’s other mediums as well. Large monitors will display video taken by the artist on journeys through New Orleans and Haiti, and planters will be filled with tropical plant species, with growth (and ambiance) aided by fuchsia-tinted grow lamps.  The curator of the exhibition, Cole Akers, said that the result is a “convivial atmosphere that audiences will be able to linger in and explore.” Akers, the curator and special projects manager for Philip Johnson’s Glass House, is no stranger to designing within big-name architect’s spaces. “To think about the ways that communities come together and sort of hold each other is a really powerful and poetic statement to make.”
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India’s Subterranean Stepwells rise at the Fowler Museum

India’s Subterranean Stepwells: Photographs by Victoria Lautman University of California, Los Angeles 308 Charles E. Young Drive Los Angeles In a show at UCLA’s Fowler Museum, Chicago-based arts journalist Victoria Lautman explores the hidden beauty of an elaborate building type originating in India: the stepwell. Built throughout the subcontinent’s warm, dry regions for the past 1,500 years, stepwells allowed communities to store water from monsoonal rains. These monumental stormwater management systems were built in both Muslim and Hindu architectural styles and served as sites of worship and gathering. Lautman has visited more than 200 stepwells over the past 30 years in an effort to document their importance and ensure their survival. Organized by Joanna Barrkman, senior curator of Southeast Asian and Pacific arts, the exhibition includes 48 photographs taken by Lautman with a point-and-shoot camera, and is arranged in clusters that focus on specific architectural details. Further images, along with GPS coordinates for each stepwell, are included in Lautman’s 2017 book, The Vanishing Stepwells of India.

Drawing Codes: Experimental Protocols of Architectural Representation, Volume II

Presented by the University of Miami School of Architecture and California College of the Arts / Digital Craft Lab Curated by Andrew Kudless and Adam Marcus Emerging technologies of design and production have opened up new ways to engage with traditional practices of architectural drawing. This exhibition, the second volume in a series organized by the CCA Digital Craft Lab, features experimental drawings by architects who explore the impact of new technologies on the relationship between code and drawing: how rules and constraints inform the ways we document, analyze, represent, and design the built environment.
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Rome and the Teacher brings roofscapes to Rhinebeck

‘T’ Space 137 Round Lake Road Rhinebeck, NY Through August 24 This summer, ‘T’ Space, a gallery and performance venue established by Steven Holl, will present the work of Holl’s former professor and inspirator, the architect and academic Astra Zarina, in the exhibition Rome and the Teacher. Guest curated by Alessandro Orsini, the show is inspired by Zarina’s 1976 book on Roman roofscapes, I Tetti di Roma, and her contributions as a groundbreaking female figure in the profession. Photographs by the architect Balthazar Korab, who coauthored I Tetti di Roma, as well as theoretical writings, models, and historical maps relay the Latvian-born Zarina’s professional journey, including her experience as the American Academy in Rome’s first female architecture fellow and her lifelong project of restoring the “città che muore” (dying town) of Civita di Bagnoregio. Photographic prints will wrap the gallery space, and a video created by Columbia architecture students will align the exhibition material with newer concepts about design’s engagement with public life—a theme central to Zarina’s work, teaching, and legacy.
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New Glass Now paints a full picture of contemporary practice at the Corning Museum of Glass

Capturing the zeitgeist of contemporary glass practice, the New Glass Now exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass brings together work from 100 emerging and established talents across 32 nationalities. Exhibited pieces, ranging from large scale installations to delicate miniatures, were democratically selected based on an open call submissions process by a curatorial committee comprised of leading culture-makers and experts Aric Chen (Design Miami Curatorial Director), Susanne Jøker Johnsen (artist and head of exhibitions at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Denmark), and Beth Lipman (American artist). Susie J. Silbert (Corning Museum of Glass Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass) headed up the jury and exhibition curation. Addressing relevant themes such as gender inequity and environmental degradation, the highly-curated exhibition reveals what glass can achieve through various expressive and conceptual interpretations, as well as new translations of age-old techniques like flameworking, glassblowing, and casting. Exhibition sections :in situ, :(infra)structures, :body politics, :embodied knowledge, :011001111 01101100 01110011, and :phenomena incorporate works that transcend disciplinary conventions. On view are sculptures, functional objects, photographs, videos, technological speculations, scientific experiments, architectural maquettes, and full-scale mockups. Through various strategic stagings, Silbert sought to establish sharp dialogues between different, seemingly unrelated, works. Fredrik Nielsen's "macho" I was here installation sits in the direct vicinity of Deborah Czeresko's emphatically feminist Meat Chandelier sculpture, a piece very similar to the final work she created during the Corning Museum of Glass-supported Netflix competition series Blown Away Pieces such as Liquid Sunshine / I am a Pluviophile by Japanese artist Rui Sasaki reveals how glass can be implemented in expressing conceptual meaning, while Smokey Comet Installation I by Toots Zynsky challenges the perception of what the medium can physically achieve. The Bahá'í Temple of South America project by Jeff Goodman, and Crystal Houses (Chanel Flagship Store) by MVRDV showcase glass's potential in an architectural application. Reservoir by C. Matthew Szösz and Promise by Nadège Desgenétez demonstrate how far the material properties of glass can be pushed. Other notable artists, designers, and outright creatives represented in this comprehensive survey include Miya Ando, Atelier NL, Ans Bakker, the Bouroullec Brothers, Monica Bonvicini, Mathew Day Perez, Martino Gamper, Katherine Gray, Jochen Holz, Helen Le, Erwin Wurm, Dustin Yellin, Dafna Kaffeman, Bohyun Yoon, and Mark Zirpel. The main show is joined by New Glass Now | Context, an annex exhibit that explores the changing nature of glass-specific curation through the history of two past iterations of the New Glass exhibition series, in 1959 and 1979. Historic documentation, period-specific works, and related ephemera are displayed in the Corning Museum of Glass's Rakow Research Library and collectively reveal some clear differences in terms of method and focus but also socio-political and cultural influences.
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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.

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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.