Exhibitions > As Seen: Exhibitions That Made Architecture and Design History
As Seen: Exhibitions That Made Architecture and Design History
October 1, 2015–August 14, 2016
Exhibitions have long played a crucial role in defining disciplinary histories, as they mark pivotal moments in time and document the environment in which new narratives or arguments unfolded. At a moment when the fields of architecture and design, spurred by a multitude of crosscultural and global conversations, are opening up to new definitions, ways of working, and design and production processes, this research highlights how an exhibition can help to both concretize and critique ongoing technological and cultural shifts. As Seen is an ongoing research project that looks at the influence of architecture and design exhibitions years after their closing.
The selection presented in As Seen focuses on 11 group exhibitions from 1956 to 2006, organized by a wide range of architecture and design professionals. Through varied approaches, these exhibitions reflected on then-current dilemmas, identified alternatives to prevailing practices, and reasserted design’s implications for everyday life. Since their debut, many of these exhibitions have grown in influence through the spread of their ideas and the rising popularity of the designers involved. As Seen features a range of materials—installation images, posters, invitation cards, catalogues, correspondence, and floor plans—that are more than residual and provide glimpses into the concepts driving the exhibitions as well as the physical spaces they once occupied. Critical discourse from the media and scholars presented alongside these materials illuminates and helps to vivify the discussions surrounding these events at the time. These presentations show how the tools of curators, graphic designers, industrial designers, architects, and others can be catalyzed toward new ends, which often resonate beyond the temporal duration of the exhibition itself, ultimately making history.
Initiated as part of the Istanbul Design Biennial 2014, the research has been brought to Chicago with the aim of continuing the dialogue and illustrating a cross section of creative output to be seen through new eyes. Although it presents only a small sampling of exhibitions—by no means global in scope—the hope is that this installation reignites conversations about the influence of exhibitions on the practice and perception of architecture and design.
Sponsor This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Architecture & Design Society.
The exhibition design is by Project Projects.
View of IBM Pavilion by Charles and Ray Eames in the 1964 New York World's Fair. Courtesy Eames Office, Library of Congress.
8 hours 20 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago COMING SOON—Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960–75
The short-lived Tokyo magazine Provoke is now recognized as a major achievement in world photography of the last 50 years. A major international traveling show, which has Chicago as its only North American venue, this exhibition is the first survey of postwar Japanese art to be organized at the Art Institute and draws heavily on the the museum’s collection—more than 60% of the over 200 items on display belong to the Art Institute.
OPENING JANUARY 28—http://bit.ly/2jMlnUx
11 hours 32 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—The Italian–born American artist Josef Stella revisited his native Italy in 1922, where he became fascinated by Renaissance painting. Drawing inspiration from Sandro Botticelli, Stella began to produce decorative, detailed, symbolic compositions, such as A Vision (seen here). Stella was enthralled by the tropical plants he observed at the Bronx Botanical Garden in New York, and he imagined an iconic woman growing out of the earth like the towering flowers on either side of her.
The French–born American artist Gaston Lachaise found his own iconic inspiration for the sculpture, Woman (Elevation), in Isabel Dutaud Nagle, whom he later married, telling her, “I want to create a miracle with it… as great as you.” This sculpture represents Lachaise’s first full-scale expression of the idealized female form that would come to dominate his art. Modernists like Lachaise believed preclassical art possessed a primitive vitality absent from later art forms.
See Josef Stella’s A Vision (1925/26) and Gaston Lachaise’s Woman (Elevation) (1912–15; cast 1927)—on view in Gallery 271.
1 day 7 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Rodney McMillian: a great society
Our latest exhibition in the Modern Wing represents the last decade of the artist’s work in video. Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, Rodney 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.
See Rodney McMillian: a great society on view in the Modern Wing through March 26.