new-york

James Casebere, Empty Studio, 2017, ink-jet print, 44 3/8 × 66 1/2".

James Casebere

Sean Kelly Gallery

James Casebere, Empty Studio, 2017, ink-jet print, 44 3/8 × 66 1/2".

When Louis Kahn visited Luis Barragán in 1965, their meeting marked one of the greatest meetings of architectural minds in the twentieth century. The American and Mexican masters shared an undeniable affinity—both placed a high premium on tradition and craftsmanship; displayed a preference for rugged building materials, particularly concrete; and had become famous for highly original styles that blended the language of modern architecture with a range of vernacular influences. They did find one point of profound disagreement, however: color. When Kahn saw the brightly painted concrete walls that were one of Barragán’s signatures, he was shocked: One should never paint concrete, he contended, because doing so undermines the substance’s honesty as a pure expression of structure. Color is literally superficial, a merely visual effect independent of the sense of material and

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