Decon Artists: Wigley, Tschumi, Eisenman Reflect on MoMA’s Landmark “Deconstructivist Architecture” Exhibit
On January 22, Mark Wigley, Bernard Tschumi, and Peter Eisenman took the stage in MoMA’s theater to reflect upon Deconstructivist Architecture, the landmark 1988 exhibit curated by Wigley and Philip Johnson. The press release at the time described the featured architects—including Coop Himmelblau, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, and Daniel Libeskind, along with Tschumi and Eisenman—as “obsessed with diagonals, arcs, and warped plans.”
In a where-are-they-now moment, Wigley said, “It occurred to me that only Daniel Libeskind thought the show was about the future, and he still seems to be designing for the show, and that seems to be not a good idea.” And the sniping didn’t stop there. Eisenman, despite refusing to hold the microphone to his mouth, could be overheard saying what kind of exhibit he would—or rather, wouldn’t—do, if given the chance: “Well, it wouldn’t be like the biennale of last fall, which was sort of a discount supermarket of everything that was going.” “Including you,” zinged Wigley.
‘Tis the season for bestowing “Best Ofs”, and this edition of SHFT+ALT+DEL includes some of the recent laurels laid upon architects and designers by business and consumer press…
Across the pond, David Adjaye is at the tippy-top of the 2013 Power List, ranked number one in the annual publication’s list of the most influential black people of the UK.
Congratulations to them all! Meanwhile, back in the salt mines…
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.
The MoMA’s Senior Art Curator of Architecture and Design, Paola Antonelli, was named Director of Research & Development this week by the museum’s Director Glenn D. Lowry. This new role is a mix of curatorial, design, and research, and was created as part of an effort to discover new prospects in the rapidly developing digital world.
Century of the Child
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
Through November 5
Is design for grown ups? Hardly. While a child’s own designs might be limited to block towers or crayon masterpieces, design touches nearly every part of early life. Children use toys, wear clothing, play in playgrounds, use furniture, and sit in classrooms, all of which are created specifically for them. Opening at the Museum of Modern Art, Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000 surveys the material world constructed for the child over the 20th Century. Visions of children and how design has followed or shaped their perceptions over the past century are considered in the exhibition. Take Frederich Froebel, whose famous toys (a gift box edition, pictured below) were favorites of Frank Lloyd Wright as a child. Froebel designed his blocks to be given in a sequence, educating children as they learned and matured over time. The exhibition identifies and merges the many facets of design that consider children, presenting these products together and revealing the ideas and ambitions of the designers who created them.
Quentin Bajac will become the chief curator of photography at MoMA in January 2013. Bajac is currently at Centre Pompidou, Musée Nationale d’art moderne in Paris, where he has led the photography department since 2007. He will succeed Peter Galassi, who retired from MoMA as chief photography curator in 2011.
Mason Currey joined Print magazine as executive editor. Previously, he was managing editor at Metropolis.
Trinity Simons has been named director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD), an organization that helps mayors prepare for the role as chief urban designers of their cities. Simons previously was a program officer in the Wellesley, Massachusetts office of Enterprise Community Partners.
If your interested in how many people viewed Christian Marclay’s The Clock exhibition at the Centre Pompidou (6,996 for its three day run) in 2011 then The Art Newspaper‘s yearly round up of the top exhibitions makes great reading. This year the list breaks out Architecture and Design exhibitions and New York’s MoMA is the clear winner.
John Gourlay is tapped to be executive publisher of Metropolis magazine. Gourlay’s previous magazine publishing creds include Harvard Business Review, Foreign Affairs, Utne Reader, Audubon, and American Craft.
SB Architects appoints Emilio Perez as head of its Miami office. Specializing in hospitality and mixed-use projects, Perez worked with Gensler, Portman Associates, Cap Cana Resorts, and Royal Caribbean before joining SB.
Portuguese architect, curator, and writer Pedro Gadanho will join the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Architecture and Design as a curator of contemporary architecture effective January 11. In addition to organizing exhibitions, Gadanho will supervise the annual Young Architect’s Program, which has recently expanded from New York to Rome and Chile. Read more details in AN‘s breaking news story.
In other museum news, James Cuno, the President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, has taken on yet another Getty role: acting director of the Getty Museum. In addition to supervising all of the Getty’s various holdings, Cuno, the former director of the Art Institute of Chicago, will now be back in familiar territory, overseeing the museum following the resignation of acting director David Bomford.
Other West Coast shifts: Behnisch Architekten closes their Venice, CA office, while Oakland, California-based VDK Architects, which specializes in the Science & Technology market sector, has merged with the architecture and engineering practice Harley Ellis Devereaux.
Dwell magazine regrouped this fall following the departure of editor-in-chief Sam Grawe and also established a New York editorial outpost; executive editor Amanda Dameron was promoted to editor-in-chief and Alejandro Chavetta was bumped up from art director to creative director. Kelsey Keith departed Curbed NY to join Dwell as a New York-based senior editor.
The Museum of Modern Art has confirmed that the Portuguese architect, curator, and writer Pedro Gadanho will join MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design as a curator of contemporary architecture.
According to MoMA’s release: “In his new role, Mr. Gadanho will be responsible for a broad portfolio that reinforces the Museum’s commitment, since 1932, to contemporary architecture. In addition to building the Museum’s holdings of contemporary architecture, he will oversee the annual Young Architects Program (YAP), co-organized with MoMA PS1, and the two-year-old YAP International Program in conjunction with the MAXXI in Rome and Constructo in Santiago, Chile; organize further exhibitions in the Museum’s “Issues in Contemporary Architecture” series; and develop larger scale exhibitions of contemporary architecture, including exhibitions that explore relationships between architecture and other contemporary art practices.”