Julian Rose

  • Heidi Bucher, Untitled (Herrenzimmer), ca. 1978, latex, cotton, 102 1/4 x 71 x 7 1/2".

    Heidi Bucher

    At first, it is almost impossible to understand Heidi Bucher’s work as anything other than an utter dematerialization of the buildings that provided the literal framework for her practice. The Swiss artist was best known during her lifetime (1926–1993) for the pieces she described as “skinnings” (Häutungs): sheer, milky casts of walls, floors, and ceilings, made from latex and gauze or other fabric. Untitled (Herrenzimmer), for example, the undated work likely made between 1977 and 1979 that is the focal point of Bucher’s current show at the Swiss Institute, is a cast of the study of her parents’

  • the MoMA expansion

    THESE DAYS, it’s hard to blame architects for being jealous of art. Times are tough, and buildings always seem to get the worst of it, battered by innumerable market pressures, while artworks manage to float above the storm, enjoying a sacred status both cultural and economic. This disparity is at the heart of the furor that erupted this past January, when the Museum of Modern Art in New York reaffirmed its intent to demolish the building formerly occupied by the American Folk Art Museum. MoMA acquired the home of its far smaller, next-door neighbor in 2011, after the latter found itself in a

  • Martin Boyce, A Thousand Future Skies, 2014, painted steel and glass. Installation view, Glasgow School of Art. Photo: Keith Hunter.


    THE WORK OF architect Steven Holl and artist Martin Boyce fundamentally alters the way we think about the boundary between their two disciplines. Boyce, who represented Scotland at the 2009 Venice Biennale and was awarded the Turner Prize in 2011, is celebrated for his explorations of the legacy of modern architecture, probing the field’s potential as an expansive formal language even as he examines the ways in which architecture, nature, and public space interact. Holl is renowned for creating innovative spaces in which to make and display art—including the 2006 Visual Arts Building at

  • Gary Kuehn, Saw Horse Piece, 1967, fiberglass, wood, 24 1/2 x 120 x 26".

    Gary Kuehn

    Despite their well-documented fascination with architecture, most Minimalists seem to have been surprisingly squeamish about what could literally be described as the nuts and bolts of construction. Even the most detail-minded viewer of the early-1960s sculptures of Donald Judd, Robert Morris, or Carl Andre would be hard-pressed to find evidence of nails or screws; everything is loose stacks or mitered corners and polished metal. Repudiating the Abstract Expressionist legacy of emphatically subjective formal composition, these artists emphasized the cohesiveness of their simple, straightforward

  • Thomas Hirschhorn, Gramsci Monument, 2013, Forest Houses, Bronx, New York. Photo: Chandra Glick. All works by Thomas Hirschhorn © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

    Julian Rose

    THIS PAST MAY, the New York City Department of Buildings issued work permit number 220288230-01-EW-OT to Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monu­ment. The project, located in the central courtyard of the Forest Houses, a New York City Housing Authority–administered complex in the South Bronx, was constructed over the following six weeks out of some forty-five hundred shipping pallets, two hundred sheets of plywood, ten thousand linear feet of lumber, and fifteen miles of PVC tape. A sprawling compound of enclosed pavilions atop a raised platform, the temporary structure was undeniably architectonic.

  • Toyo Ito & Associates, Sendai Mediatheque, 2001, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. Photo: Tomio Ohashi.


    RENOWNED ARCHITECT TOYO ITO, winner of this year’s Pritzker Prize, has spent his career exploring the subtle yet vital connections between the physical and ephemeral qualities of space. If his early designs were marked by a pioneering interest in the effects of new media and digital technology on the urban environment, his more recent work has investigated architecture’s capacity to cultivate modes of social interaction and produce vibrant public spaces. Indeed, the buildings he has produced over the course of more than four decades are praised equally for their formal inventiveness, structural

  • Frank Gehry, Miss Brooklyn Tower Study, 2004, basswood, paper, Gatorfoam, pushpins, 18 x 7 x 8".

    Frank Gehry

    The term sculptural has haunted Frank Gehry for much of his spectacularly successful career. While his supporters may use it in effusive descriptions of his building’s formal expressiveness, in the hands of his critics, it has become a potent means of implying that his designs lack the formal rigor that one should expect from architecture—another way of saying that the wild shapes that have made him famous are arbitrary, unmotivated, even willful. It is surprising, then, that his work appears most deliberate—and most grounded in deeply architectural processes and problems—in

  • View of “Richard Nonas,” 2013.

    Richard Nonas

    It is disconcerting to hear Richard Nonas refer to James Fuentes gallery, the site of his most recent solo show in New York, as an “uneasy, unsteady space,” until it becomes clear that this is a compliment. What he means is that the place has character; rather than the neutral background of a white cube, it offers the idiosyncrasies and imperfections that make a space worth engaging. Explaining further, Nonas describes himself as “fascinated by architecture but also upset by it”—fascinated by its power to shape space and thereby establish place, a fundamental concern of his own work, but

  • Anthony McCall, Face to Face, 2013, two projectors, two haze machines, two double-sided projection screens, dimensions variable.

    Anthony McCall

    Appropriately enough, given the beautiful paradox of “solid light” with which he refers to them, Anthony McCall’s projections are often described as simultaneously embodying film, sculpture, and drawing. But McCall’s recent show “Face to Face,” which combined a physical intervention into the gallery space with his latest solid-light piece, suggested another medium—architecture—as equally fundamental to his practice.

    The exhibition’s titular 2013 work, installed in the gallery’s main space, is the first that McCall has projected onto freestanding screens, rather than directly onto a

  • “Thomas Hirschhorn: Gramsci Monument”

    In the South Bronx’s Forest Houses development, Thomas Hirschhorn and a team of local residents will soon begin constructing the fourth and final of the Swiss artist’s “monuments” to philosophers. This tribute to the great Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci promises to be the most ambitious yet, with a significantly larger footprint than Hirschhorn’s previous ad hoc pavilions, including offices for a daily newspaper and a performance space for everything from poetry readings to philosophy lectures. This structural and functional complexity transcends mere public sculpture,

  • Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, Centre Pompidou, 1971–77, Paris. Photo: David Noble.

    “Richard Rogers: Inside Out”

    In more ways than one, the career of British architect Richard Rogers has been defined by contradiction. Stylistically, he has merged a modernist faith in technology and the open plan with a colorful Pop-inflected exuberance, an amalgamation immortalized in his design (with Renzo Piano) for the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Ideologically, he has maintained a steadfast faith in the transformative potential of public architecture, even as some of his most celebrated projects have been corporate headquarters for private clients, the iconic Lloyd’s building in London among them.

  • Sarah Oppenheimer, W-120301, 2012, aluminum, glass, existing architecture. Installation views, Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo: James Ewing.


    BREAKING THROUGH A WALL might have once seemed like a radical gesture, but by now it has become something of a cliché. From the pockmarked cavities of Lawrence Weiner’s 1968 A WALL CRATERED BY A SINGLE SHOTGUN BLAST, to the open gap in the facade of the Pomona College art gallery left by Michael Asher’s now-legendary 1970 removal of its doors, to the ragged cuts through abandoned buildings that defined Gordon Matta-Clark’s entire oeuvre, the hole in the wall was a mainstay of pioneering post-Minimal and Conceptual practice. And the basic gesture of piercing an architectural surface continues to