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architecture

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 twenty years later these “theoretical” architects have emerged as major practitioners on a global scale. Still theoretical in formal and programmatic pose, they are far from theoretical in practice, having realized some of the most significant cultural commissions of the late twentieth century.

Initially

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