“Modern Redux: Critical Alternatives for Architecture in the Next Decade”

Grey Art Gallery and Study Center

“Modern Redux” was perplexing. Its inception was greeted with considerable interest and enthusiasm in the architecture community, but its realization was, finally, a disappointment. The premise of this exhibition was a condemnation of Postmodern architecture—not as envisioned by Robert Venturi in 1966, in his Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, but as enacted by mediocre practitioners in the past twenty years—and a presentation of evidence for the reemergence of a Modern idiom in contemporary architectural theory and practice. The curator, Douglas Davis, had an inciting idea, but it was so cautiously developed and presented that it evaporated moments after condensation. This was a difficult starting place for mounting an opposition to the catholicity of current architectural practice. In his fear of becoming as strident as the corrival, Davis sacrificed clarity and verve.


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