Mayer Rus

  • diary December 05, 2004

    House Proud

    Miami

    Terry Riley, MoMA's chief curator of architecture and design, bounced back from the cringe-making Starck shindig in twenty-four hours, celebrating his fiftieth birthday at a jolly fête hosted by Patricia Cisneros (philanthropist-socialite), John Keenen (Riley’s business partner), and John Bennett (his “life partner,” to borrow a quaint phrase). The potentates of architecture and design who had been buzzing around the fair all week—and many who flew in to pay their respects to the man in charge of one of the largest and most important museum design collections in the world—converged

  • diary December 04, 2004

    No Comment

    Miami

    Let's do the time warp—again. On Friday night, a few thousand people turned out for the opening of ICON, a new Miami condo development designed by Philippe Starck and built by developer-slash-collector Jorge Perez. Guests toured the building's lobby, lounge, pool and spa, but, alas, the apartments were not available for inspection. A real estate agent informed me—this is not a joke—that the units come in four conceptual varieties: Culture, Classic, Nature, and Minimal.

    In terms of design, ICON is a pleasant pastiche of Starck’s greatest hits—all perfectly chic, but stale as

  • Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life

    The exhibition’s title suggests yet another dreary walk down the path of tweaked vernacular expression, but the show’s actual subject seems far more ambitious.

    The exhibition’s title suggests yet another dreary walk down the path of tweaked vernacular expression, but the show’s actual subject seems far more ambitious. Curator Andrew Blauvelt has assembled forty projects drawn from the fields of contemporary architecture and design, including a porcine skyscraper by MVRDV; a coat that transforms into a tent, by Moreno Ferrari; and Marcel Wanders’s charming vases based on 3-D mapping of sneezes. Collectively, the disparate projects argue that avant-garde design today isn’t about building a better mousetrap but questioning the need to trap mice in the

  • The Architect's Other Passion: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Art of Japan

    America’s foremost rogue-genius architect had many passions, and right up there with his adoration of landscape, his lust for women, and his vaunted narcissism was his love of Japan. Wright’s first encounter with Eastern architecture, at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, had lasting effects on his work. He made several extended visits to Japan between 1917 and 1922, returning to Spring Green with a trove of ukiyo-e and surimono prints and becoming one of the first Americans to deal in Japanese art. This exhibition documents Wright’s unapologetic enthusiasm, juxtaposing photographs, models,

  • The Architecture of R.M. Schindler

    During his life, R.M. Schindler (1887-1953) garnered precious little praise from hard-line International Style contemporaries or the press, but in the past three decades his aesthetic—fusion of the reductivism of Adolf Loos and the planarity of Frank Lloyd Wright—has been celebrated as the exemplar of High Left Coast Modernism. The largest Schindler show ever will include 110 drawings, fifteen models, and a selection of furniture designs, charting the architect’s career from his early years in Vienna through his apprenticeship with Wright and on to the California houses of the ’20s,

  • L'Esprit Nouveau: Purism in Paris, 1918-1925

    In 1918, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (aka Le Corbusier) and the decidedly lesser-known Amédée Ozenfant founded Purism, a movement in architecture and painting that emphasized the geometric order and clarity of urban industrial technology. The basic tenets of Purism were given eloquent expression in the Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau, a structure designed by Corbu for the 1925 Exposition des Arts-Décoratifs in Paris and partially reconstructed at LACMA for “Purism in Paris,” More than sixty paintings and works on paper by Corbu, Ozenfant, and frequent collaborator Fernand Léger further illuminate

  • 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

  • “The Un-Private House”

    Architectural Digest this is not. MOMA'S chief curator of architecture and design, Terence Riley, brings together twenty-six fabulous homes—but with decidedly progressive intent. While quirky client aspiration will undoubtedly provide color, diverse projects by an international roster of progressive architects from Rem Koolhaas to Shigeru Ban were selected to reflect the transformation of the private house in response to changing cultural and social conditions. In addition to standard exhibition fare (models, drawings), interactive digital displays developed in collaboration with the MIT Media

  • “Tiborocity: Design and Undesign, 1979-99”

    Remember the '70s TV commercials that had Florence Henderson chirping, “The chicken's got a certain Wessonality”? Well, this exhibition apparently has a certain Tiborocity, the distinctive quality that (one assumes) pervades the work of graphic designer Tibor Kalman. With roughly 200 objects organized around lofty themes—language, time, globalism, advocacy, and so on—SF MOMA's retrospective provides an opportunity to assess the diverse work of this Madison Avenue darling with an unlikely reputation: adman as social critic and iconoclast. The ephemeral nature of much of Kalman's output makes this

  • “Carlo Scarpa, Architect: Intervening with History”

    Though one of Italy's great visionary architects, Carlo Scarpa never achieved the international recognition accorded the likes of Corbu and Mies. While these pioneering masters profoundly influenced the Venetian's early work, Scarpa ultimately rejected International Style orthodoxies; perhaps it is his incorporation of traditional Italian forms, materials, and craftsmanship that makes his hybrid designs increasingly congenial to our pluralist present. Among a wealth of drawings, models, and photographs assembled by curator Mildred Friedman, the architect's designs for museums and exhibition

  • Larry Clark's Another Day in Paradise

    STOP THE PRESSES: Heroin chic is back! In his seductive new film, Another Day in Paradise, director Larry Clark revisits the midwestern subculture of junkies and petty thieves documented in his seminal photo-essay Tulsa (1971). But the territory Clark pioneered three decades ago isn’t as wild as it once was. After the strung-out look’s brief reign in the mid-’90s (when Tulsa was the unofficial primer for cutting-edge fashion photography), what had once been alien and dangerous became just another disposable marketing pose. And there’s the rub: The specter of heroin chic haunts Paradise, which

  • Mayer Rus

    1. Oz (HBO) Home Box Office’s determinedly transgressive series about prison life revels in the naughty bits they can’t show on network television: graphic violence, rampant drug abuse, and male frontal nudity. With homoerotic tension to burn, Oz serves up a weekly prison-porn fantasia curiously packaged in an otherwise conventional hour-long-television-drama format. Sort of like Eight Is Enough with anal penetration. As the crusty but benign social worker Sister Peter Marie, Rita Moreno makes the whole thing fly.

    2. Tony Smith (Museum of Modern Art, New York) There was much to love in the Tony