• Yves Klein’s air architecture

    YVES KLEIN’S ARCHITECTURE is ignored in most discussions of his work, which tend to dwell on his deep blue monochromes and his daredevil photomontage Leap into the Void, 1960. But a broader view shows that, before his life was cut short at the age of thirty-four in 1962, Klein was increasingly drawn to larger-scale visions. In 1957 he began to generate schemes for buildings and cities—indeed, entire civilizations—in a long-term project he called “air architecture.” The project took many forms—paintings, drawings, plans, construction details, installations, films, lectures, performances, even

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  • green design

    IF HISTORICAL ANALOGIES offer any guidance, green design will emerge as the modernism of the new century. There is more than a passing similarity between recent eclecticism in architecture and the stylistic free-for-all that characterized the early twentieth century, which saw a succession of neohistorical and decorative styles come and go rather quickly. Neo-Gothic, neo-Tudor, Beaux-Arts classicism, Art Nouveau: All had their brief moment before modernism crystallized (at least in the minds of the architectural establishment) as an “appropriate” aesthetic. It is now fashionable to talk about

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  • Deconstructivist architecture in 2003

    IN 1988, when the Museum of Modern Art mounted the “Deconstructivist Architecture” show, curated by Philip Johnson and Mark Wigley, the seven architects assembled beneath this ambiguous banner— Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, Bernard Tschumi, and Coop Himmelb(l)au—were unambiguously seen as “theoretical,” dismissed as such, and excoriated by both proponents of various “postmodernisms” and conservative anti-intellectuals. Any idea that “Deconstructivism” was a movement of consequence beyond the art gallery was rejected out of hand. Yet nearly

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  • Anthony Vidler on Dia:Beacon

    THE RECENTLY OPENED DIA:BEACON, its permanent collection installed in galleries inside a converted box factory, is by all accounts a major success. Despite the obvious gaps in the collection, tied to the vicissitudes of the last twenty years of collecting, critics have cited a number of factors contributing to the exhilarating effect of a visit: the appropriateness of the huge former printing sheds for art that demands a spacious setting, the ability for living artists to collaborate in the installation and in some cases provide new site-specific work, the elegant gardens designed by Robert

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  • Brasília

    THOSE MERCURIAL FORCES behind the global design/fashion/media complex have annointed a new mecca of fabulousness: Brasília. Forty years after its dedication, photographers, advertising directors, and design junkies of every stripe have rediscovered Brazil’s monumental experiment in utopian modernism, finding amidst the heroic architectural forms of the made-from-scratch capital city the stuff of which glamorous fashion shoots and gallery exhibitions are made. Both Wallpaper and The New Yorker have paid homage in recent issues. Now the art world is following suit. An exhibition this spring at

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  • Edward Durell Stone and Paul Rudolph

    AS WE APPROACH THE MILLENNIUM, in architecture as in fashion, our appetite for salvaging designs from recent decades grows ever more voracious. But would some artifacts do well to simply remain in the closet? Many fail to see how critically maligned buildings might get better with age, and on the short list of most endangered mid-’60s structures are Edward Durell Stone’s Huntington Hartford Building and Paul Rudolph’s Beekman Place triplex.

    The city’s recent selection of David Child’s proposal for replacing the Coliseum on Columbus Circle has cast a spotlight on its vulnerable neighbor, Two

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  • Gordon Matta-Clark

    NO ONE WENT TO FOOD FOR THE FOOD. One evening the menu might consist of hard-boiled eggs stuffed with live shrimp. Another night it might be necklaces of boiled meat bones. The cuisine, in other words, was often conceptual. But the sense of community was Four Star.

    It was a Romulus and Remus thing, the city as substitute mother for orphans who would create a new city of their own. The founders and patrons of Food—the restaurant at Prince and Wooster opened in September 1971 by Gordon Matta-Clark, Tina Girouard, Suzanne Harris, and Rachel Lew—were orphans of America and its paranoid political

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  • MoMA's Architectural Competition

    INSTITUTIONS MOVE FORWARD by renegotiating their own history. Drawing on its legacy of architectural provocation and promotion, beginning with the International Style show of 1932, the Museum of Modern Art is nearing the final stages of preparing for its renovation and expansion. Though a number of recent museum statements describe the expansion as simply the next logical step in MoMA’s historical growth and development, deputy director for curatorial affairs and chief curator at large John Elderfield goes so far as to call the scope of the project “a reconceptualization of the entire facility.”

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  • Architecture

    From December, 1964 to July, 1965, the University of California at Berkeley conducted a competition to select an architect for the proposed University Arts Center, a museum complex to function under the directorship of Dr. Peter Selz. The jury for the competition consisted of three architects: Lawrence B. Anderson, Gardner A. Dailey and Ralph Rapson.

    The jury’s choice lighted on the design submitted by Mario Ciampi, of San Francisco. Careful examination of the final entries leaves little doubt that the Ciampi entry was, by all odds, the best, and that the jury was wise in selecting it. The

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  • Architecture and the New Vernacular

    An idea, now treated by those in the know as highly old-fashioned, is that a distinction should always be made between architecture and buildings. As Gilbert Scott, the great 19th-century English Gothic Revivalist put it, “Architecture consists of the decoration of construction.” While such an assertion would only bring smiles from our current schools of architecture or from our professional architectural journals, this is a distinction which is still almost universally made on a popular level. To most people, that which is thought of as architectural in a typical project house, are shutters,

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  • Industrial Design from Japan at the UCLA Galleries

    THE ROOM IS A COOL GLADE set with floating floodlit discs. Upon them glitter a bright new generation of objects from Japan: not red lacquer bowls but white Western china, neither gilded screens nor dancing fans but the personal, portable machinery of the contemporary world. Suspended silks and photographs seem anxious to remind us that these international-looking objects are truly Japanese.

    In exquisite refinements to human use, in little dramas played about an idea the national skills show best. The transistors under glass are textured to the hand, the grilles like open mouths about to speak.

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