previews

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

London

“Richard Rogers: Inside Out”

Royal Academy | Burlington Gardens
6 Burlington Gardens
July 24–October 13

Curated by Jeremy Melvin

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. These tensions are perhaps a symptom of architecture’s unstable position in postwar culture, as the field has increasingly been asked to define corporate or institutional identity rather than address deeper aesthetic or functional questions. As the situation has grown only more acute with the ever-accelerating flow of global capital, this detailed examination of Rogers’s architecture in light of his activities as a speaker, writer, and activist should prove all the more urgent today.