Gregory Ain: Low-Cost Modern Housing and The Construction of a Social Landscape WUHO Gallery 6518 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles Through April 26 Gregory Ain was a pioneer in the development of low-cost modern housing, and many of his efforts fused radical, left-wing politics and cooperative living with architecture. And a new exhibit in Los Angeles spotlights five of the architect’s most innovative housing projects. Projects included in the exhibit at Woodbury University's WUHO Gallery in Hollywood are Dunsmuir Flats, Park Planned Homes, Avenel Cooperative Housing, Mar Vista Housing, and Community Homes Cooperative. The show consists of classic black and white photographs by Julius Shulman and contemporary color shots by Korean artist Kyungsub Shin. Shin’s photos—first commissioned for the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale in South Korea—document how Ain’s small-yet-well-resolved houses—clustered to lower costs, share resources, and create social connections—can still accommodate contemporary lifestyles. "People are highly attracted to these houses today,” said show curator Anthony Fontenot. "There's something very comfortable about them, but they're still strikingly modern." The show also includes original materials, such as Ain’s “manifesto” of the planned community, fleshed out with drawings, documents, letters, and other archival materials. "We could learn a lot from looking at his ideas," said Fontenot. "Our own ecological, economic, and political climate demands that you cannot exist on your own."
Posts tagged with "Photography":
Like a lone pea out of its pod, the desolation of a solo row house waxes stark in Baltimore-based photographer Ben Marcin’s new series: Last House Standing. Often painted in garish colors at variance with their boarded-up windows and battered brickwork, the row houses are an architectural quirk of certain cities along the eastern seaboard. Marcin’s fascination stems from the details that come to the fore only when one house is left standing—once indistinguishable in a cookie-cutter row of identical three-story walk-ups. “My interest in these solitary buildings is not only in their ghostly beauty but in their odd, almost defiant, placement in the urban landscape...They were clearly not designed to stand alone like this,” Marcin wrote on his website. Many row houses received the wrecking ball long before the housing bubble burst, when population decline caused entire streets of row houses to be vacated. Naked trees, subdued skies and surrounding vacant lots add to the spellbinding, ghost town–like ambiance of Marcin’s shots, each building's endurance a “defiance” of sorts. The first abandoned dwelling to catch his eye was a bright-blue three-story building with six front windows that had been boarded up and painted white, and a door which had been AWOL for years. The pretty 19th-century cornice on the roof, however, remained intact. Marcin scoped out more desolate domiciles by bike in East and West Baltimore, his fixation eventually luring him to Mid-Atlantic cities in New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The 55-year-old software developer at the Social Security Administration regularly consults Google Maps to discover more empty lots populated by a lone building. “They’re kind of like me. I was a bit of a loner in life by choice. And these subjects are standing out there by themselves,” Marcin told the Baltimore Sun. Baltimore authorities have plans to demolish the remaining row houses in favor of new housing developments, despite protests from residents at hearings. Marcin aims to archive every number of the dying breed before it's too late. Marcin's previous exhibition, A House Apart, connotes this same sense of abandonment, showing awkwardly perched ramshackle dwellings and tiny, speck-like cabins amidst barren desert. In The Camps, Marcin hunted for the makeshift dwellings of the homeless—one of which is merely a blanket draped over a thistle of branches.
Chicago's Harrington College of Design on Wednesday abruptly announced it will merge with Columbia College. Jim McCoy, Harrington's vice president of operations, told AN the school will no longer accept new students, but won't shut the door on its existing student body. “Everyone that's enrolled in Harrington, we will teach them out,” said McCoy. Students in the downtown college's associate, graduate, and bachelor programs will continue to take Harrington classes through August 2018—even students who took a semester off can finish their degrees, McCoy said. “We do not want to lock them out.” After the summer term, at which point Harrington will vacate its leased space in Chicago's Loop, students will attend class in facilities owned by Columbia College. Students who complete their degrees within about a year can request a diploma from Harrington, McCoy said, but bachelors finishing their degrees after that time will earn credentials from their new alma mater, Columbia College. McCoy said declining enrollment had put pressure on Harrington's administration to make the move now or face the possibility of shutting students out in a few years while they were still part-way through their academic programs. “It just became obvious,” McCoy said, “to get back to where it was financially stable would have taken years, and we felt this was in the best interest of the students.” Over the last five years McCoy estimated Harrington's enrollment has declined by 30–40 percent. He credits increasing competition, including from online programs, for the drop. But also to blame may be the college's select program offerings. For 84 years Harrington has offered highly specialized programs in graphic design, interior design, and photography. “Those are great fields. They will continue to be great fields,” said McCoy. But they could not sustain business at Harrington. Crain's Chicago Business contextualized the financial situation of Harrington's owner, the suburban Schaumburg-based, for-profit company Career Education:
Like many private education companies, Career Education has struggled with declining enrollment over the past few years and has been losing money. The company's 2014 revenue fell to $736.9 million from $834.1 million in the year prior, and its loss widened to $178.2 million from $164.3 million in 2013.Nationally enrollment has declined at for-profit universities, as well. “We're saddened,” said McCoy. “We are. We are happy to have been able to partner with Columbia College, and the underlying thing is we're not closing the door on our students.”
Review> Richard Estes’s photorealistic paintings of New York on view at the Museum of Arts and Design
Richard Estes: Painting New York City Museum of Arts & Design New York Through September 20, 2015 The first exhibition of art at this institution originally and primarily devoted to craft consists of photorealist paintings spanning 50 years by one of the most accomplished masters of the style. And in the dispassionate way typical of this artist and the genre, they show some subtle changes that have taken place in the cityscape. Richard Estes is one of the most successful—and to me the most interesting—of the artists who worked in a style that challenged the dominance of abstract painting and sculpture in the late 1960s and ’70s, without ever quite supplanting it. Though photorealism uses the camera, rather than direct observation or drawing, it reasserts painting’s ability to analyze, describe, and interpret its subject matter in a way that the Pop Art of the time never tried to do. And yet most photorealism, especially Estes’, is pretty deadpan. He is more interested in how we see and how the camera distorts vision than in what is goes on in the places he paints. Estes was born in Kewanee, Illinois, in 1962, studied art at the Art institute of Chicago, and came to New York in 1958. By 1967, he had abandoned the manner of the earliest painting in the show, Seated Figures, Central Park c. 1965, which has big loose brush strokes and human figures in a landscape, for a more precise photographic style focused on buildings, streets, and vehicles. To him, the streets of New York are one big studio. So are the subways, buses, and ferries he rides, and the bridges he crosses to discover different perspectives. But what he thinks of these places is not revealed. There are no signs of the financial crisis of the 1970s or of the rise of homelessness. There are no graffiti-strewn subway cars. Shop fronts suggest that the owners and their patrons are doing okay. But Estes’ pictures provide an enduring sense of life in New York—what it is like to wander the streets, be a part of a lively street scene, and yet a dispassionate observer. Estes is a modern flâneur with an acute ability to observe surfaces but little interest in what goes on beneath them. Still, the show has some stories to tell. A painting of Union Square from c. 1975 shows cars parked on pavement where the farmer’s market now thrives. One of the Guggenheim Museum from 1979 (commissioned by the Museum) shows a rotting rotunda before the Gwathmey Siegel addition was built. A chromogenic print of Times Square in 2003 depicts the area before the pedestrian plazas were built. And a 2009 view of the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle depicts it from a window of the museum close to the spot where the painting hangs in the show. The exhibition, organized by Patterson Sims, who was also the curator of recent Estes shows at the Smithsonian and Portland Art Museum in Maine, is a welcome addition to MAD’s programming. It contains displays that show the craftsmanship involved in Estes’ prints. And, it provides historical background to the new painting-sized photographs and photo-enhanced paintings shown in galleries today.
On March 13, the Los Angeles sky was emblazoned with a trail of upward-facing spotlights, marking every mile of Sunday's Los Angeles Marathon, stretching 26 miles from Echo Park to Santa Monica. The installation, celebrating the event's 30th running, and sponsored and designed by shoe company ASICS, used 124 spotlights, totaling more than 7.5 million lumens. Photos of the light show has appeared all over social media. Our favorite of all comes from Santa Monica photographer Kurt Lawson, who took the shot from the top of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City. He stitched together 31 images "with a lot of overlap" to create a panorama of the event including all 26 light beams. The photo, which got over 62,000 views on Flickr in about 24 hours looks similar to a rendering of the event released before it happened (above), but the addition of clouds creates a lively row of dots marking every mile. "You could really make out the trail in the sky," said Lawson. "I got lucky. The clouds were moving quite fast, but I just squeaked it by." Take a look at a few other views below: https://instagram.com/p/0Rino7Enna/ https://instagram.com/p/0MmFWQu-eA/ https://instagram.com/p/0Nw-QbBsPU/ https://instagram.com/p/0MkMhyPZW1/ https://instagram.com/p/0RnKZ6E6ZB/ https://instagram.com/p/0Mxevhyg38/ https://instagram.com/p/0MoYSfLBrD/ https://instagram.com/p/0SqmgniOgJ/ https://instagram.com/p/0MhciEFnFG/
Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1852–1860 The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 5th Avenue, New York City Through May 25 In the early days of the British Raj, few people at home in the UK could do anything but imagine the far-away land their nation had conquered and subjected to colonial rule. It would be another 160 or so years before Instagram arrived and the photographic chemistry of the day suffered terribly in the oppressive heat and humidity of the Indian subcontinent. Then along came Captain Linnaeus Tripe. As an officer in the British army working under the auspices of the British East India Company, he traveled with diplomatic expeditions creating a visual inventory of celebrated archaeological sites and monuments, religious and secular buildings (some of which are now gone), and landscapes with peculiar geological formations. Tripe was able to produce astoundingly consistent photographs using large-format wax paper negatives. Between 1854 and 1860, he made several trips to Burma (now Myanmar) and South India, using his training as a military surveyor to set up rigorously composed photos of local highlights that are quite distinct from the picturesque travel photography of the day. The methodical and thorough nature of his work gave contemporary British audiences an unsentimental tour of their new crown jewel, and now the Met has reprised his accomplishments for 21st century audiences.
Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change Annenberg Space For Photography 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles Through May 3, 2015 Sink or Swim: Design for a Sea Change, at the Annenberg Space For Photography, examines worldwide resiliency strategies in architecture and design for the new challenges brought about by climate change and sea level rise. Composed of photographs from the likes of Iwan Baan, Stephen Wilkes, Paula Bronstein, Jonas Bendiksen, and Monica Nouwens, the show focuses on efforts that include coastal flood mitigation in the Netherlands, seawalls in Japan, floating schools, and temporary relief housing. The photographs are not glossy—they depict raw human responses along with un-staged images of contemporary design, creating a critical dialogue on the subject. The varied ecological and social contexts on view seek to provide starting points for discussions on nature, culture, and climate change in densely populated coastal regions.
The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is returning to the National Building Museum shortly after its hugely-popular, and highly-traversed maze installation in the building's Grand Hall. This January, the museum will present what is essentially a retrospective on BIG's work called HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation. According to the National Building Museum, the exhibition “takes visitors from the hottest to the coldest parts of our planet and explores how BIG´s design solutions are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts." For the exhibition, the museum will suspend 60 three-dimensional models of BIG's work and premier Iwan Baan photographs of some of BIG’s latest projects. “What's so special about HOT TO COLD is that BIG has perceived the National Building Museum more as a site for a project, rather than as a venue for an exhibition,” curator Susan Piedmont-Palladino said in a statement.
While the critics sure don't like it, many other casual observers are big fans of Lower Manhattan's World Trade Center. This morning, SOM announced the winner its #WelcomeOneWTC photography contest it held to mark the grand opening of New York City's latest controversy-laden skyscraper. Of about 350 entries, New York–based photographer Gerry Padden took the top honor and will receive a "one-of-a-kind scale model of the tower, handcrafted by the firm's model shop in Manhattan, as well as a limited-edition print of One World Trade Center, taken by renowned photographer James Ewing." Ewing was among the contest judges, which also included top officials at SOM. According to SOM:
One World Trade Center has long captured the imagination of locals and visitors alike, who have watched the building materialize from drawings to a 104-story, crystalline skyscraper that stands boldly in Lower Manhattan. More than 13 years in the making, the 1,776-foot office tower—the tallest in the Western Hemisphere—recaptures the New York skyline, reasserts downtown Manhattan's preeminence as a global business center, and establishes a new civic icon for the country.The photo was taken over the summer from a rooftop in Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's announcement that Chicago would launch an international festival of art and architecture—its own take on the famous Venice biennale—drew jeers and cheers from the design community both near and far from The Second City. AN called for the show aspiring to be North America's largest architectural exhibition to go beyond tourism bromides. Now the upstart expo has a name, as well as its first show. The inaugural Chicago architecture biennial will begin in October 2015, and will be called “The State of the Art of Architecture,” in reference to the controversial conference organized in 1977 by architect Stanley Tigerman. Tigerman's show celebrated the postmodern rejection of Chicago's old masters like Mies van der Rohe, forging the position of architectural protest group The Chicago Seven. A press release from the organizing committee alludes to the upcoming exhibition's wide scope:
More than a profession or a repertoire of built artifacts, architecture is a dynamic cultural practice that manifests at different scales and through various media: buildings and cities, but also art, performance, film, landscape and new technologies. It permeates fundamental registers of everyday life—from housing to education, from environmental awareness to economic growth, from local communities to global networks.The biennial's first commission was announced Wednesday by co-directors Joseph Grima—a former curator of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and director of the Ideas City platform of the New Museum—and Sarah Herda, director of the Graham Foundation and AN editorial advisor. Renowned photographer Iwan Baan will contribute an original photo essay about Chicago featuring aerial shots taken at sunrise. The work will “capture the city during a moment of its daily routine,” according to the press release. “Like the Biennial itself, Baan’s expansive photographs interpret Chicago as a realm of architectural possibility, past and future.” The free festival's home base will be the Chicago Cultural Center, but organizers say it won't be restricted to downtown. “Using the city as a canvas, installations will be created in Millennium Park and other Chicago neighborhoods, including new projects and public programs developed by renowned artist Theaster Gates on Chicago’s south side,” reads a press release. “The Biennial will also feature collateral exhibitions and events with partner institutions throughout the city, and will offer educational programming for local and international students.” Tigerman, whose 1977 exhibition is the inspiration for the 2015 show's title, sits on the biennial's International Advisory Committee, which also includes architects David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang, and Frank Gehry, along with critic Sylvia Lavin, Lord Peter Palumbo and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Ty Tabing, former executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance and founder of Singapore River One, will serve as the biennial's executive director. Oil giant BP has agreed to donate $2.5 million for the show, but Mayor Emanuel is reportedly seeking $1.5 million more.
More than one year after Reed Kroloff announced he would leave his post as director of Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art, the illustrious arts campus and museum has plucked an art museum director from the West Coast to fill his shoes. Christopher Scoates has worked with California State University Long Beach since 2005. A native of England, he has a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Cranbrook and more than 25 years of experience in universities and art schools. As a curator he has organized exhibitions bringing together music, lighting, and various media for shows that have traveled the country. “Cranbrook Academy of Art's rich legacy and history of innovation have made it one of the top institutions of graduate education in the visual and fine arts,” Scoates said in a statement. “Together, the Academy and Museum share a commitment to new art and new ideas, and I look forward to developing new partnerships, alliances, and audiences that will extend both the Academy and Museum programs far beyond the walls of the campus.” His appointment takes effect August 1st. Cranbrook is a top ranked, graduate-only program in architecture, design, and fine art famous for its Saarinen-designed campus and small class size—just 150 students per year. (Disclosure: Kroloff serves as an editorial advisor to The Architect’s Newspaper.)
Donald Weber is a former architect turned visual media artist. His latest project, War Sand, is a series of microscopic photographs that depict pieces of shrapnel embedded in individual grains of sand along the beaches of Normandy. Each photograph—which takes over eight hours for Weber to produce—is a testimony to one of the most famous days in history, as well as to the relationship between art and science. "I like the idea that through science, art can reveal itself," Weber told Texas arts blog Glasstire. "And through art, science can reveal itself." In War Sand, both elements are certainly present. Physicist Kevin Robbie helped produce the photographs by using a powerful magnet to withdraw the shrapnel bits from the sand samples. The extracted metals were placed underneath a microscope, where Weber’s original theory—that shrapnel remained on Normandy’s beaches—was proven true. The sand grains that “housed” the shrapnel were then color coded to identify the types of metals embedded in the beach seventy years ago. The selected color palette—blue, green, and yellow—matches the natural colors found on the beach. One photograph depicts what looks like an artillery shell but is actually a diatom, or the casing built by ocean algae. Since diatoms feed off iron, Robbie posits that the iron this particular diatom fed from was in fact a shrapnel remnant from D-Day. “Ultimately,” Robbie said to Glasstire, “this remnant from this battle that killed many people is providing nutrients to a form of life decades and decades later.” The project as a whole demonstrates an amazing symbiosis between technology and art, but also of nature’s ability to rebuild itself after the intrusion of mankind. As Weber noted, "History never goes away. There's always a trace here or a remnant there.” At the project’s completion, Weber hopes to compile all the photographs into a book.