Review> Engineering and Design Common Themes in Films at SXSW 2014

Art, National, Review
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
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Still from DamNation. (Courtesy DamNation)

Still from DamNation. (Courtesy DamNation)

At this year’s SXSW Festival, engineering took center stage in the documentary DamNation (directors Travis Rummel & Ben Knight), which won the Documentary Spotlight Audience Award. It begins with America’s rash of dam-building under FDR when these mammoth structures were considered man-made wonders. Hoover and Grand Coulee are the large-scale examples, but there were about 80,000 smaller dams built across the country.

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On View> Building the Picture: Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting

Carlo Crivelli (1430/5–1494), The Annunciation with Saint Emidius,1486. (Courtesy National Gallery, London)

Carlo Crivelli (1430/5–1494), The Annunciation with Saint Emidius,1486. (Courtesy National Gallery, London)

Building the Picture
National Gallery
London
April 30 through September 2014

At the end of April, the National Gallery will present a new exhibit spotlighting the handling of architecture in various paintings by prominent Italian renaissance artists. Building The Picture will feature works by Duccio, Botticelli, Crivelli and others chosen from the museum’s permanent collection along with paintings gathered from other institutions in the U.K. These 14th, 15th, and 16th century images will be complemented by a series of five films that offer contemporary ideas on the theme of real and imagined architecture from Peter Zumthor, filmmaker Martha Fiennes, art historian T. J. Clark, film historian John David Rhodes, and computer game cinematic director Peter Gornstein.

Learn more after the jump.

Storefront for Art and Architecture to Unveil “Letters to the Mayor” Next Week

Art, East, On View
Friday, April 25, 2014
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An exhibit in the project. (Courtesy  Elena Palacios Carral, Manijeh Verghese, Storefront for Art and Architectur)

An exhibit in the project. (Courtesy Elena Palacios Carral, Manijeh Verghese, Storefront for Art and Architectur)

The Storefront for Art and Architecture will unveil its new exhibit, Letters to the Mayor, this Tuesday, April 29th. According to Storefront, “Letters to the Mayor presents fifty letters written by international architects to the political leaders of more than 20 cities around the world. Each letter provides a space of reflection for the architect to present ideas and methodologies and express some of the concerns and desires that might contribute to action within political spheres.”

At the opening, Storefront will announce the winners of its “Competition of Competitions,” which invited interdisciplinary teams to “formulate their visions of the future of architecture and cities in the form of a competition brief.” For more on the competition and the exhibit visit storefrontnews.org.

Polish Design Studio Crafts Miniature Paper Tributes to Warsaw’s Modernist Architecture

Architecture, Art, International
Friday, April 25, 2014
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SONY DSC

(Courtesy ZUPAGRAFIKA)

The semi-dilapidated Eastern-bloc buildings of Warsaw may seem like unlikely candidates to be immortalized in paper miniature. Nonetheless that was the task undertaken by Hispano-Polish design studio ZUPAGRAFIKA, which has devised a series of intricate paper models that can be cut and folded into small-scale models of a number of the Modernist structures dispersed through the city.

More after the jump.

On View> Allan Wexler’s New York Exhibition Explores Landscape Interventions

Art, East, On View
Friday, April 25, 2014
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Bridge, 2014. (Allan Wexler)

Bridge, 2014. (Allan Wexler)

Allan Wexler: Breaking Ground
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts
31 Mercer Street, New York
Through May 3, 2014

The current Allan Wexler exhibit, Breaking Ground, at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts proves again how important is the work of architects who confine their production to the gallery. In the new exhibit, Wexler explores mankind’s first interventions into landscape with a series of photo-based images and sculpture. Wexler first builds models of his imagined landscapes out of plaster and museum board before photographing them and digitally manipulating and printing them. The Architect’s Newspaper will celebrate Wexler’s extraordinary forty five year career with a special reception at the Feldman gallery Tuesday, April, 29th from 6:00–8:00p.m.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Cage Dancing At Los Angeles’ Materials & Applications Gallery

Art, On View, West
Thursday, April 24, 2014
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La Cage Aux Folles (Sam Lubell/ AN)

La Cage Aux Folles (Sam Lubell / AN)

The latest installation at Silver Lake gallery Materials & Applications, Warren Techentin’s La Cage Aux Folles, truly brought out the inner monkey in Los Angeles’ architecture community this weekend. The cage-like structure is made of a vast series of curved structural steel tubes, which simultaneously rigidify the piece and create unique spaces in and around it.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Oren Safdie’s “False Solution” Debuts In Santa Monica

Architecture, Art, On View, West
Thursday, April 24, 2014
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The stars of False Solution (Mark Montiel)

Amanda Saunders and Daniel J. Travanti star in False Solution. (Mark Montiel)

For those architects with an interest in theater, Wednesday was the West Coast premiere of Oren Safdie’s newest play, False Solution, at the Santa Monica Playhouse (tickets may be purchased here). Safdie earned an M.Arch at Columbia University and is the son of architect Moshe Safdie. He has now written three plays inspired by contemporary architecture, including The Bilbao Effect and Private Jokes, Public Spaces. False Solution, which also played in New York last summer, follows Anton Seligman, a successful architect whose latest commission, a new Holocaust museum in Poland, is aggressively challenged by one of his new interns, Linda Johansson. She also confronts his beliefs in himself, his career, his profession, and much more. Continue reading after the jump.

Review> If/Then, the Musical, Follows the Life of an Urban Planner

Art, East, On View, Review
Monday, April 14, 2014
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Idina Menzel and the cast of If/Then. (Joan Marcus)

Idina Menzel and the cast of If/Then. (Joan Marcus)

If/Then
Richard Rogers Theater
226 West 46th Street, New York
Scheduled to play through October 12, 2014

THINK OF EACH PLAZA, PIER, AND PUBLIC PARK—
HOW MANY SIT THERE EMPTY, LONELY, DARK—

The Broadway musical If/Then starts in Madison Square Park with its unmistakable folding seats, tables, and umbrellas, a signature of Janette Sadik-Khan’s overhauling of public spaces during the Bloomberg administration. In this musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (the team behind Next to Normal) city planner Elizabeth (Idina Menzel) returns to New York from Arizona where she’s just gotten out of a failed marriage—and urban sprawl.

Continue reading after the jump.

Review> 2014 Armory Art Week Improved With the Help of Architecture

Art, East, Review
Thursday, April 10, 2014
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Sheila Hicks, Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, 2013-14, left, (Courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co) and Zoe Leonard, Sketch for 945 Madison Avenue, 2014, right. (Courtesy Zoe Leonard)

Sheila Hicks, Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, 2013-14, left, (Courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co) and Zoe Leonard, Sketch for 945 Madison Avenue, 2014, right. (Courtesy Zoe Leonard)

With the plethora of contemporary art on view in New York during Armory Arts week, it has been instructive to note the contribution by architects to the design of these temporary exhibition spaces, and the use of interesting architectural spaces. The fairs are often held in structures originally used for other purposes — piers, parking facilities, drill halls — so the task has been to not only carve out space for display, but to move viewers (and buyers) with flexibility and ease and to provide an enticing environment. Fair organizers have turned to young architects for these interior layouts, or have chosen compelling venues.

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On View> “Apex: Tip Toland” at the Portland Art Museum

Art, On View, West
Thursday, April 10, 2014
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04-portland-tip-toland-archpaper

Apex: Tip Toland
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Through May 11

Washington-based artist Tip Toland creates larger than life figures with painfully accurate details that highlight her subjects’ imperfections: wrinkles, sunspots, and other blemishes. Toland’s work has always dealt with figurative subject matter, though her approach has ranged from the surreal to the super-real. This exhibition focuses on the plight of albino children in Africa, many of whom face a never-ending nightmare of bigoted, superstitious persecution at the hand of the communities into which they are born. Deeply rooted in psychology, Toland’s carefully crafted portraits seek to disturb viewers, teasing out their deepest human sympathies only to clobber them with the cudgel of political subtext. The artist has said that her work “softens our hearts to what we are afraid of.” Unflinching in the face of terrible realities, it is certainly provocative.

On View> The Cincinnati Museum of Art Presents The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith

Art, Midwest, On View
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
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(Courtesy Brooklyn Museum)

(Courtesy Brooklyn Museum)

From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith
Cincinnati Museum of Art
953 Eden Park Drive
Cincinnati, OH
Through May 18

From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith consists of twenty-four pieces of silver and gold jewelry created by the Brooklyn-reared modernist jeweler Arthur Smith (1917–1982). Smith trained at Cooper Union and opened his first shop on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village in 1946. Art was an active supporter of the black and gay rights movement and early black modern dance groups. He included these themes in his works.

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De Blasio Taps Queens Museum President for New York City’s Cultural Affairs Commissioner

Art, East, Shft+Alt+Del
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
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Tom Finkelpearl at the Queens Museum. (Courtesy ioby.org)

Tom Finkelpearl at the Queens Museum. (Courtesy ioby.org)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has selected Tom Finkelpearl, the Queens Museum president and executive director, as the city’s next cultural affairs commissioner. De Blasio made the announcement at the museum, which recently underwent a significant renovation led by Grimshaw Architects.

Continue reading after the jump.

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