New York

“Perfect Acts of Architecture”

Axa Gallery

“Perfect Acts of Architecture” brought together six series of early and seminal drawings that established the careers and ideologies of five of today’s preeminent architects: Peter Eisenman, Daniel Libeskind, Rem Koolhaas, Thom Mayne, and Bernard Tschumi. All but one of these projects, Eisenman’s “House VT,” ca. 1976, are not constructed or are impossible to build. And that’s what makes them “perfect.” The drawings provide critical and theoretical platforms by negating the architectural realities of commerce—of client, function, material, building code, site, and budget. The architects even escape conventions of architectural representation, using drawing as a research tool and an alternative to practice. Yet their anxieties abounded as architecture itself was an object of scrutiny.

Every architect here employed modernist avant-garde tropes of defamiliarization and alienation. Exodus,

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