Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square Returned to Its Modernist Roots

The refurbished fountain and stairway. (Courtesy Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy)

The refurbished fountain and stairway. (Courtesy Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy)

After five years and $10 million, Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square has been returned to its mid-century splendor. Dedicated in 1955, the Square served as a modern, green oasis in a city choked by pollution. But only a few decades after opening, the modern masterpiece had fallen into disrepair, its former glory hidden by cracked pavement, broken fountains, pigeons, and empty planters. As Pittsburgh has transformed itself in recent years, so to has Mellon Square. Now, the reborn space is yet another example of the Steel City’s promising future.

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The Menil’s Modulated Light: Museum’s Design Creates a Light Choreography Through Space

Light Modulation starts outside the building (MDI/ Johnston Marklee)

Light Modulation starts outside the building (MDI/ Johnston Marklee)

The architecture of Johnston Marklee’s recently-unveiled Menil Drawing Institute has wowed most observers and critics, including our own. But an equally significant element of the $40 million project is its lighting, a combination of innovation and subtlety, natural and artificial light.

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On View> Doug Wheeler’s Light Installation Shines at David Zwirner Gallery Through April 5

Art, East, Lighting, Newsletter, On View
Monday, March 31, 2014
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(Courtesy David Zwirner Gallery)

(Courtesy David Zwirner Gallery)

Doug Wheeler
David Zwirner Gallery
537 West 20th Street, New York
Entry limited to 6 people at a time
Reservations to view the exhibition are available, 212-517-8677
Through April 5, 2014

When you enter the immersive Doug Wheeler installation at David Zwirner Gallery, it’s like daybreak. A domed space with a flat apex meets the horizon with a hidden line of LEDs that shed light in a gradual, two-minute cycle in what the artist calls a “rotational horizon work.” The effect is like looking into a clear blue sky, that on closer inspection has subtle gradations that change as the earth revolves. The floor is the same color and is coped so you are slightly off balance as you advance and retreat towards this unreachable horizon.

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Revive two Detroit viaducts in this Michigander-only contest

Two viaducts in Detroit will host public art interventions. (Ash Arder)

Two viaducts in Detroit will host public art interventions. (Ash Arder)

A nonprofit in Detroit is calling on artists and designers “to breathe new life into the historical viaducts at Second and Cass Avenue in Midtown.” In partnership with the New Economy Initiative, Midtown Detroit, Inc. will sponsor public art and light installations in the TechTown District of Midtown Detroit. Read More

Transforming an Austrian Construction Site into a Choreographed Dance

International, Lighting
Monday, March 10, 2014
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Turns out the biggest construction site in Europe has got some moves. And all it takes to turn 42 cranes into a nimble-bodied dance troupe is some light choreography, a techno beat, and a fair amount of neon lighting.  The dance, or the Krenasee event as it is officially known, took place in Austria last month at the site of a planned 20,000-square-foot suburb called Urban Lakeside Vienna. FilmSpektakel caught the action in all of its glory and put together this impressive time-lapse video. [Via Gizmodo.]

On View> Jim Campbell: Exploring Meaning Through Light

(Courtesy Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery)

(Courtesy Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery)

This month, artist Jim Campbell will be taking over New York City. First, an exhibition of new works by Campbell will be on view at the at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in Chelsea from March 7–April 19, 2014. Titled New Work, the show will focus on Campbell’s latest series of sculptural light installations. The exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery coincides with another expansive New York exhibition of Campbell’s work at the Museum of the Moving Image. That exhibition, Jim Campbell: Rhythms of Perception, will be on view from March 21 through June 15, 2014. In addition, the Joyce Theater will present Constellation, a collaboration between Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Campbell, from March 18–23, 2014. The performance will feature an installation comprised of 1,000 light spheres programmed in synchronized interplay with the dancers.

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Chicago Launches Lighting Competition in Bid to Boost Tourism, Skeptics Concerned Over Pollution

Design, Lighting, Midwest
Monday, January 27, 2014
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(Courtesy City of Chicago)

(Courtesy City of Chicago)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been very vocal about his ambitions to increase tourism in the city, and he once again upped that goal to 55 million annual visitors by 2020—an almost 20 percent jump from current numbers.

Riding high on news of record hotel occupancy last year, Emanuel said Wednesday that Chicago would launch an international design contest to light up the city at night. As with previous initiatives, like the Downtown Riverwalk extension, the lighting design competition would highlight the Chicago River.

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