Michael Wang

  • Kevin Roche. Photo: Ford Foundation.
    passages March 27, 2019

    Kevin Roche (1922–2019)

    IF THE CONTEMPORARY ARTIST ASPIRES to channel the spirit of the modern world, the modern architect is in the business of, also, shaping that world. Kevin Roche succeeded at this more than most. Aligning himself with some of the most powerful systems of the twentieth century, Roche remade city blocks and skylines from Columbus to Kuala Lumpur. His firm, Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, completed projects for the computing industry (IBM), advertising firms (Leo Burnett), chemical companies (Union Carbide), big pharma (Merck and Company), petroleum giants (Conoco), and banks (Deutsche

  • The Artists’ Artists

    To take stock of the past year, Artforum asked an international group of artists to select a single exhibition or event that most memorably captured their eye in 2018.

    Barbara Kruger

    Bodys Isek Kingelez and “Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980” (Museum of Modern Art, New York, on view through January 1 and January 13, 2019, respectively) Kingelez’s “City Dreams” is all dazzling skill and deep style: a jammy urbanity emblazoned with invented corporate and government logos that speak to both the hope for a peaceful world and the seductions of global capital. The Congolese

  • Lebbeus Woods, San Francisco Project: Inhabiting the Quake, Quake City, 1995, San Francisco. Rendering.

    “Lebbeus Woods, Architect”

    In 1995, Lebbeus Woods imagined San Francisco creatively transfigured by the very earthquakes that threaten it. These “Inhabiting the Quake” drawings depict an architecture that amplifies and arrests seismic forces, modeling them as arched, fractured, and splintered forms. SF MoMA’s major exhibition, which opens under the cloud of the architect’s recent death, will showcase these drawings in the city that inspired them, alongside works from thirty-five years of Woods’s speculative practice. The seventy-five drawings, collages, sketchbooks,

  • A projection test at the 2012 screening of Gregory Markopoulos’s Eniaios. (Photo: Michael Wang)
    film July 13, 2012

    Coming Together

    DURING THE LAST WEEKEND IN JUNE, while most of Europe took a break from focusing on Greece’s precarious economic future to follow the Euro 2012 finals, I traveled to the tiny Greek village of Lyssaraia, in the heart of the Peloponnese, to attend the third installment of Gregory Markopoulos’s monumental Eniaios. The silent film, when it is finally printed in its entirety, will run approximately eighty hours in twenty-two “orders.” I was among more than two hundred guests who had come to see three of these orders, newly printed thanks to the fund-raising efforts of the filmmaker Robert Beavers,

  • Collage of design for ECO POLIS building by Kikutake Kiyonori, ca. 1990.

    “Metabolism, The City of the Future"

    Perhaps the most ebullient critique of doctrinaire postwar modernism, the Japanese Metabolist movement of the 1960s and ’70s understood the city as a living organism.

    Perhaps the most ebullient critique of doctrinaire postwar modernism, the Japanese Metabolist movement of the 1960s and ’70s understood the city as a living organism. Inspired by images of cellular development, its members imagined a city subject to dynamic processes of growth and decay wherein cantilevered residential blocks unfurled above old neighborhoods, structural systems arose along helical spines, and chunks of the urban landscape detached themselves from shore to float on the sea. Some eighty Metabolist projects will be on view

  • Hans Hollein, Chair, 1972, white flagging on kern, 37 3/5 × 24 2/5 × 24 2/5”.

    Hans Hollein

    Framing the Pritzker-winning architect as an artist, the exhibition foregrounds his multidisciplinary work in sculpture, writing, and design.

    “Everything is architecture,” declared Viennese architect Hans Hollein in April 1968. Appearing in the journal Bau, the proclamation accompanied images of what this expanded architecture might encompass: astronauts, bubbles, a pill. Such objects of contemporary life also fuel his “Transformation” collages, 1963–68, in which a spark plug, blown up in scale, becomes a gleaming tower, and an aircraft carrier, rising out of a barren landscape, suggests a fortified city. For the first comprehensive retrospective of his work (and the first exhibition in the recently relocated

  • Left: New Museum director Lisa Phillips. Right: Architect Rem Koolhaas. (Photos: Benoit Pailley)
    diary May 09, 2011

    Rem Cycle

    “REM,” AS ARCHITECT REM KOOLHAAS is known in architecture and design circles, knows how to draw a crowd. Tickets to his New Museum–sponsored talk last Wednesday at NYU’s Kimmel Center, the keynote address to the heavily publicized “Festival of Ideas for the New City,” disappeared well before the event. (Heard on the blogosphere: “That guy sells out venues like Lady Gaga.”) And so it was a surprise to show up to a remarkably civil occasion—with plenty of seats to spare. “It’s a real insider event,” the gentleman seated to my left whispered, peering at the architecture- and art-world-heavy front

  • Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, Union Carbide Corporation World Headquarters, 1976–82, Danbury, CT. Cafeteria interior.


    IN 1976, THE PRESIDENT of Union Carbide attempted to reassure the company’s Manhattan employees about their imminent relocation to Danbury, Connecticut. In a human-relations spot, he described their two presumed concerns: “The first is, What will it be like to work in this new building? And the second is, What will it be like to live in the Danbury area?” Kevin Roche, who had been commissioned to design the company’s new headquarters, understood these twin considerations of work and life as one and the same. Corporate America’s favored architect, Roche wanted the offices of the world’s third-largest

  • Louis I. Kahn and Anne G. Tyng, associated Architects, City Tower, Philadelphia, PA,1956–57, model. Courtesy of the Louis I. Kahn Collection, University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

    Anne Tyng: Inhabiting Geometry

    Best known for her twenty-five-year collaboration with Louis I. Kahn, architect Anne Tyng has received comparatively little recognition for her own rigorously theorized practice.

    Best known for her twenty-five-year collaboration with Louis I. Kahn, architect Anne Tyng has received comparatively little recognition for her own rigorously theorized practice. The work of securing her legacy has been limited, for the most part, to setting the record straight on her involvement with several of Kahn’s key projects (notably the unbuilt City Tower, with its novel space-frame construction). But the ICA show foregrounds Tyng’s independent career. Working with consulting curator Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, the ninety-year-old architect has designed inhabitable

  • Marc Newson

    In the machine age, designers turned to the most advanced technologies of travel as sources of inspiration. Le Corbusier wrote odes to ocean liners and airplanes. Charlotte Perriand fell into raptures over automobiles. Marcel Breuer fashioned his tubular steel chairs after the handlebars of an Adler bicycle. Today, the current of influence may flow both ways: Design might influence transportation technology, too. Or so Australia-born, London-based designer Marc Newson’s second solo show at Gagosian seems to suggest. “Transport” presents Newson’s designs and prototypes for, primarily, private

  • “Rising Currents”

    POLAR ICE IS MELTING, warmer water is expanding, and coastal cities—confronted with projections of eroded coastlines and ever more frequent flooding—are grappling with the looming question of how to keep the water out. As early as 2004, researchers at Stony Brook University in New York were proposing the construction of three floodgates to protect New York Harbor. Sited at the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island, at the upper end of the East River, and in the tidal strait between New Jersey and Staten Island, these defensive barriers would hem in the New York metropolitan area in the

  • Left: Cindy Sherman and David Byrne. Right: John Waters. (All photos: Patrick McMullan)
    diary October 31, 2009

    The Fischer King

    New York

    THERE WAS A CARNIVAL FEEL to the New Museum’s Tuesday fete for the crowd-pleasing “Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty.” Art-hungry hordes lined up for their dose of the uncanny, whether taking turns being shocked by Noisette, a lingual jack-in-the-box that sprung from a gallery wall, or queuing for entry to Service a la francaise, Fischer’s hall of mirrors silk-screened with images of consumer detritus rendered luminous by studio strobes.

    Despite the dazzle, the three-floor show, which its curator, Massimiliano Gioni, was calling a “tour de force of perception,” also sustained deeper questions into