For architecture enthusiasts with an artistic streak, there are a number of art exhibitions inspired by architecture and design on view across the U.S. Of course, there is Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams at MoMA, already announced in AN, along with gallery shows in New York and Los Angeles worthy of a visit, featuring drawing, sculpture, installation, animation, and more. Serban Ionescu: A Crowded Room and Serban Ionescu and Anjuli Rathod Artist Serban Ionescu, who previously studied architecture, presents an immersive installation of drawings, sculptures, and animations in A Crowded Room at New York’s Larrie. The title and work in part references his experience as an immigrant and his father’s 2006 deportation, while still creating a narrow space touched with color and levity. The animations were made in collaboration with Narek Gevorgian. Ionescu’s work is also part of a two-person exhibition at Safe Gallery in East Williamsburg along with paintings by Anjuli Rathod. Serban Ionescu: A Crowded Room Larrie 27 Orchard Street, New York, NY Through June 17 Serban Ionescu and Anjuli Rathod Safe Gallery 1004 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY Through July 15 Vernacular Environments, Part 2 Vernacular Environments, Part 2 is the second iteration of the now annual group show at Edward Cella Art and Architecture that explores the diverse ways artists figure and engage with the environment and built world. Featured artists include Shusaku Arakawa, R. Buckminster Fuller, Rema Ghuloum, Hans Hollein, Jill Magid, Alison O’Daniel, Aili Schmeltz, Paolo Soleri, and Lebbeus Woods, working across a wide array of media. Ruth Pastine has created “Color Zones” to engage with both the architecture figured in the artwork, as well as the architecture of the space itself. Vernacular Environments, Part 2 Edward Cella Art and Architecture 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA Through July 14th Escher: The Exhibition and Experience Taking up a large swath of Industry City in Sunset Park is a retrospective of the eminent Dutch artist M.C. Escher, whose vertiginous drawings are rich with architectural references. Not relegated merely to lithographs, drawings, or other two-dimensional forms, the exhibition, presented by Italian organization Arthemisia,also features installations that place you in the midst of the artist’s illusionary drawings and disorienting spaces. Escher: The Exhibition and Experience Industry City 34 34th Street, Building 6, Brooklyn, NY Through February 3, 2019
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Impossible architecture: Spanish artist’s acrylic-on-wood paintings feature gravity-defying, Escher-esque scenes
The impossible architecture depicted in paintings by Spanish artist Cinta Vidal Agulló are immersive M.C. Escher-meets-Dr. Seuss dreamscapes of multi-dimensional planes inhabited by tiny, doll-like figures. The “un-gravity constructions,” as Vidal Agulló calls them, are microscopically-detailed, small-stroke acrylic paintings on wood panels, each maze-like world resembling a planet unto itself. The confusion of the eye in its scramble to identify which way is up is a metaphor for the human condition: the impossibility of completely understanding those around us while grappling to comprehend ourselves. Namely, it is the oft-concealed disparity between our mental state and our physical environs. The topsy-turvy living spaces are peopled by faceless, solitary-looking characters and infinitesimal dollhouse-like furniture and objects, sometimes careening through the air. This foray into intricately detailed, realist painting is a first for Vidal Agulló, who has painted theater backdrops for operas for one of the world’s most prestigious scenography ateliers since age 16. She now works in a small studio in Cardedeu, a small town near Barcelona, Spain. Versed in the application of a large, broom-like brush and large-scale works, Vidal Agulló relished the challenge of reverting to a smaller scale where every flick of the brush matters. Her paintings feature multiple angles and top-sides of interconnected scenes where one is left to decipher the relationships between them. “The architectural spaces and day-to-day objects are an expression of how difficult it is to fit everything that shapes our daily space: relationships, work, ambitions, and dreams,” Vidal Agulló said in an interview with Hi-Fructose. Some of her paintings feature unnaturally conjoined buildings, while others depict upside-down-right-side-up interiors. “Playing with everyday objects and spaces placed in different ways to express that many times the inner dimension of each one of us does not match the mental structures of those around us,” she said.