For the Brazilian modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer, it was through drawing that his architecture emerged. Niemeyer’s sketches were integral to the formal development of his projects and helped him to develop his own distinct style of modern architecture. Unlike the work of Le Corbusier and other traditional modernists, defined by rigid straight lines and right angles, Niemeyer’s architecture favored sinuous lines and curved forms. His designs reflect the organic forms of his Brazilian surroundings: the bold, curvilinear landscape of mountain ranges, clouds, and rivers, as well as the delicate contours of the female body.
Niemeyer is perhaps best know for his role in developing the monumental buildings that shaped his former mentor Lúcio Costa’s master plan for his country’s futuristic capital, Brasilia, in the 1950s and 1960s. Highly involved in socialist politics, Niemeyer chose to exile himself from Brazil while the country was ruled by a dictatorship through the late 1960s into the mid-1980s. During this time he developed many of his international projects, bringing his unique architecture to cultures outside Brazil. His commitment to the socialist vision of the world extended to his work, as Niemeyer believed that through beauty architecture could benefit all members of society, regardless of social or economic class. For Niemeyer, the power of architecture was dependent upon invention; he revised the traditional modernist dictum of "form follows function" to "form follows beauty."
In 1988 Niemeyer was named Pritzker laureate. The award was founded in 1979 to celebrate architects who have made significant contributions to the field of architecture. In 1999 the Art Institute of Chicago organized an exhibition, The Pritzker Prize: 1979–1999, which featured work by winners of the award. It was for this exhibition that Niemeyer created these sketches, which depict many of his highly acclaimed designs and further show how drawing was the underpinning to his architecture. These sketches embody the large range of work by Niemeyer and illustrate his distinct style. Furthermore, they are the result of an action out of which all his architecture evolved: drawing.
Sponsor This exhibition has been made possible with support from the Architecture & Design Society.
Oscar Niemeyer. Church Sketches, 1999. Gift of Oscar Niemeyer, Fundaçao Oscar Niemeyer.
8 hours 16 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Fullerton Hall
Free to Illinois residents or with museum admission
Brazilian artist and scholar Andreas Valentin recalls his time in New York City with artist Hélio Oiticica and screens a series of short films the two produced in collaboration.
*Museum admission is free for Illinois residents every Thursday, 5:00–8:00—including during this event.
8 hours 41 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—Rodney McMillian: a great society
a great society represents artist Rodney McMillian's work in video over the last decade. Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, McMillian employs elements of performance, public speaking, oral history—and his interest in the science fiction genre—to expose the social and psychological consequences of economic inequality, endemic racism, and the failed promise of freedom and prosperity for all of its citizens. While McMillian's work engages the often stark realities of history and contemporary culture, it is motivated by the potential for alternative realities and future transformation.
Closing March 26—http://bit.ly/2l5Ja6e
13 hours 23 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SOON—John Massey: Cartón de Venezuela
One of Chicago’s great design stories emerged from the Container Corporation of America (CCA) in the middle of the 20th century. Upon his appointment in 1964 as the CCA's head of design, Chicagoan John Massey formed a research arm, the Center for Advanced Research in Design (CARD), that enabled great creativity and innovation within a corporate structure.
This exhibition features a set of posters by Massey for the CCA’s subsidiary Cartón de Venezuela. Each poster represents a different month of the year, with strong, clean lines and bold colors reflecting one of Massey’s primary influences, the Swiss school of design.
Closing March 5—http://bit.ly/2lYlz6I