Posts tagged with "Guggenheim":
If Frank Lloyd Wright were still alive, June 8 would be his 150th birthday. Sadly, the architect who is one of America's most renowned is no longer with us, but the occasion can still be celebrated. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, one of Wright's best works, is putting on a series of events to mark the date.
The activities will be about the museum building itself and Frank Loyd Wright's involvement with it. June 8 will kick off with a special open day, starting at 10 a.m. and running through to 5.45 p.m. Admission will be reduced to $1.50 in reference to architect's would-be age. The Guggenheim’s newly renovated Cafe 3 will display large rare photographs of the museum during its construction phase. A special birthday cake will also be on the day's menu.
Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., an actor-historian will be walking around playing the role of Frank Lloyd Wright. (Hopefully, he will not emulate all of the architect's traits—one of which was to be often aloof and a no-show.)
In case you miss it, further activities will be put on throughout the month including architecture-specific tours of the museum as part of the Art in the Round program, sketch workshops such as Drawing the Guggenheim, and a variety of family programs. In addition to this, the Guggenheim Store will also be selling new Wright-related merchandise, and the museum’s website will feature new content about the architect.
In the city, it can be hard to find places of total quiet. A new exhibition at the Guggenheim, though, tries to tone down loud New York, at least for a couple of minutes.
Artist Doug Wheeler has created expansive works with luminous materials since the 1960s. His latest piece, PSAD Synthetic Desert III, creates the impression of infinite space as it plunges visitors into almost complete silence. With help from what are essentially large Magic Erasers, Wheeler transformed a regular museum gallery into an almost totally silent space meant to evoke the northern Arizona desert.
Wheeler first conceived of Synthetic Desert in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but this is the first time his installation has been realized. Tucked away on an upper floor of the Guggenheim, visitors pass through three sound-cushioned antechambers before entering the installation on a carpeted gangway.
Save for a recording of the desert, the luminous purple-gray space is so soundless you can hear a whole constellation of funny bodily noises that are typically unhearable in everyday life. While sound in a quiet room registers at 30 decibels, in Wheeler's semi-anechoic chamber, noise levels check in at about 10 to 15 decibels.
To achieve this super-quiet, the museum used 1,000 pieces of sound-absorbing melamine foam on one side of the room and on the floor. 600 grey foam wedges line the walls, and 400 pyramids of the same material fill space below the platform where visitors sit and take it all in. The Guggenheim worked closely with Arup sound designers Raj Patel and Joseph Digerness to realize the exhibition, and BASF, the company that created the foam, is an exhibition sponsor.
PSAD Synthetic Desert III is on view through August 2 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. More information about reservations and walk-in tickets can be found on the museum's website.