Last month in this column, we conjured up a fake rivalry between Cincinnati, Cleveland, and East Lansing, MI, as they all have high profile projects opening this fall. Of all the blabber we’ve scattered across these pages, that piece stirred up the most voices. One fan wanted to know, “What about Indianapolis?” In our opinion, it’s a classic quantity versus quality situation. There’s a lot of development going on in Indianapolis right now, including City Way, along with a lot of forgettable architecture. There was the opening of the JW Marriott, with its nifty, curved blue glass curtain wall, design by HOK and CSO Architects. But does a convention hotel really stand up against starchitect designed museums and boutique art hotels? Not in this case.
9 + 1 Ways of Being Political
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
Through March 25, 2013
In the early part of the last century, political engagement and social uplift were central goals of modern architecture and design. By midcentury those ideals were largely lost, as modern architecture became associated with the very power structures avant-gardists had long critiqued. A new exhibition at MoMA, 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political, drawn from the Museum’s current collection, examines the neo-avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s (such as Jason Crum’s Project for a Painted Wall, 1969, above), which sought to revive progressive practice, as well as contemporary examples that continue that project today.
Architects do a lot of things outside of CAD details. Don’t believe us? Check out Unfrozen Music tomorrow night at the Santa Monica Public Library’s MLK Jr. Auditorium, hosted by AN West Coast Editor Sam Lubell. The concert will feature classical piano, chamber music, and jazz performed by LA architects like John Friedman Alice Kimm’s Alice Kimm, Gensler’s Terrence Young, NBBJ’s Gary Popenoe. And trust us, these guys are good. This is our third year going. More details here.
It’s probably best to eat before you get to the to the new Barclays Center—a can of Red Bull and a bag of chips will set you back almost $12. But at a recent sneak peek of the arena guests were treated to complimentary hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and an up-close look at the intricate and oddly sweet-smelling building model—wait, that’s no model, that’s a cake! The confection was a tour de force by Brooklyn-based BCakeNY, who carefully rendered the delicious-looking Core-ten exterior in chocolate and cinnamon, “Your cake looks better than the actual building!” wrote one of BCakeNY’s Facebook fans. Take note architects—a model of devil’s food rather than foam core might be just the thing for your next community board meeting.
Naoya Hatakeyoma: Natural Stories
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
Through November 4
Naoya Hatakeyoma’s award winning photography contrasts the reciprocal impact of human industries on the natural world and that of natural forces on human activities. His photographs, ranging in topic from German coalmines to the underground Tokyo sewer systems, chronicle manmade industrial formations from their time of creation to their degeneration and ultimate decay, all captured in a seemingly objective yet sublime manner. Through this impartial method, devoid of speculation and sentiment, Hatakeyoma’s images garner the greatest impression on the viewer. Hatakeyoma was born in Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture in 1958. His latest work, Rikuzentakata illustrates the devastation caused by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in his birthplace. In the first ever solo U.S museum exhibition, curated by Lisa J. Sutcliffe, SFMOMA showcases more than 100 photographs and 2 video installations spanning Hatakeyoma’s entire career.
It’s been (another) terrible year for Jeanne Gang! From being awarded the MacArthur Genius Grant to starring in the just opened solo exhibition, Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects, at the Art Institute, there appears to be no slowdown in Studio Gang momentum. Of course, Eavesdrop stopped by the opening and we have a few things to say. The first has little to do with Jeanne and more with the Art Institute. Their openings are always so snoozy! Get more of the students and younger folks in there, in addition to your stodgy museum patrons! We probably wouldn’t have stuck around long, accept a little bird told us that Mayor Rahm Emanuel would be making an appearance and we wanted to see how short he is in real life.
Zoë Ryan, the museum’s chair of the department of architecture and design, looked nervous awaiting Rahm’s arrival, while Jeanne looked quite at ease, milling about in a really cute dress. One of the hottest architects in the world is certainly in the same power echelon as the mayor of the Second City.
The Freelon Group showed off renderings for their renovation of Mies van der Rohe’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington, D.C. Presented to the library’s Board of Directors as part of a long-running discussion over what to do with the central library, the scheme includes a four-story atrium, two additional floors for new tenants, a landscaped public roof garden, and a new ground-level café. According to developer Jair Lynch, the project would cost $175 to $200 million.
Andrea Zittel: Fluid Panel State
Andrea Rosen Gallery
524 West 24 Street
Through October 27
Andrea Zittel’s tenth solo show, Fluid Panel State, at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, her expands on her previous ideas that our culture is fixated on assigning order to a chaotic world by defining the personal and social significance of objects and by creating a distinction between everyday objects and art. Zittel demonstrates through a panel, a nebulous form, how an object can exceed functional properties, such as shelter or clothing, to convert into an art object, such as a tapestry or a painting. The gallery is compiled mostly of handmade textiles, designed by Zittel, but also includes large enamel paintings, smaller framed paintings on paper, and a large carpet placed in the center of the installation. A PowerPoint presentation further discusses the properties of the fluid panel state expanding on the importance positioning has in attributing meaning to a flat panel. Ultimately the exhibit leaves viewers to decide if they are experiencing art or object.