Category Archives: MUSEUMS

Jerry Caldari’s Favorite Blog: Architype, Jerry Caldari's favorite blog

I’m a big fan of Architype, a website created by architects and designers for architects and designers. Its goal is to advance the discussion of architecture and design by using building typologies as an organizing principle. Architects and designers submit projects in specific categories–performing art centers, housing, airports, adaptive reuse, hotels, libraries, etc. The site’s editors select the most innovative projects for inclusion in the monthly Architype Review, each issue of which is dedicated to a single building type and includes interviews with the represented architects, products and materials used in their projects, and reviews of relevant books. Here’s a recent issue that features art museums:

Architype Review, Art MuseumsArchitype Review Featured Art MuseumsArchitype Review Featured Art Museums in Edros, Mongolia, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Zagreb, CroatiaArchitype Review Featured Art Museums in Quebec City, New York City, Akron, Cleveland, Encinatas, and Ann ArborArchitype Review Featured Art Museums in Tampa, Oahu, and Los Angeles


Light Show: James Turrell at the Guggenheim Museum

Glenn Gissler and Barry Goralnick were at the opening of what is undoubtably the New York City art event of the summer: the exhibition of five room-size installations by James Turrell at the Guggenheim Museum. Though the show mostly features Turrell’s early works, the piece getting most attention is Aten Reign, a new installation Turrell developed specifically for the famous rotunda in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed museum. Here’s what Barry and Glenn thought.

James Turrell, Aten Regan, 2013, GuggenheimJames Turrell, Aten Reign (2013), Guggenheim Museum

James Turrell, Aten Reign, 2013, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, June 21–September 25, 2013. Photographs by David Heald

Barry Goralnick: The two most important tools we have in architecture are space and light. Turrell’s reimagining of the Guggenheim is inspired in its manipulation of both. In the rotunda, he has inserted a structure wrapped in seamless fabric–it has been described as telescoping cake pans–that subsumes the space in a delightful way. Frank Lloyd Wright created a willful structure; Turrell, taking his cues from the architect, has taken it to a new place. You can’t help wondering where you are vis-a-vis the Wright building. The color palette and the natural light from the oculus are constantly altering, and as you move through the space the shapes continue to change. I was fascinated by Turrell’s use of structure and the most cutting-edge light technologies–it’s a great melding of art, design, and engineering. The effect is mesmerizing; it can only be described as a spiritual experience. It made me feel good for the rest of the day.

James Turrell, Afrum I (White), 1967, Projected light, dimensions variable

James Turrell, Afrum I (White), 1967, Projected light, dimensions variable

Glenn Gissler: The exhibition includes four older Turrell installations, including the gorgeous Afrum I (White), from 1967, which appears to be a glowing cube floating in the corner of the room. In the adjacent antechamber is a breathtaking selection of etchings from the related series First Light (1989–90), which explore how the aquatint technique can invoke qualities of radiance.

James Turrell, First Light, Series C, Carn, Acros, Ondoe, Phantom

James Turrell, First Light, Series C (Carn, Acros, Ondoe, and Phantom), 1989-90

GG: James Turrell’s is a very important artist but given the emphasis in his works on experience, they are hard to own except as memory. I think that the First Light prints are extremely successful in depicting the simple and sublime magic of Turrell’s installations and would love to  be  reminded of this every day. The complete edition of 20 etchings is available at the Peter Blum Gallery. I am always looking for art for myself, the RISD Museum, and clients. I would love to live with one or two  of these  prints and, at some point, give them to the museum, and would love to place some of them with clients.

James Turrell, Skyspace,  Live Oak Friends Meeting, Houston

James Turrell, Skyspace, 2001, Live Oak Friends Meeting House, Houston 

GG: I am looking forward to getting the Turrell exhibition catalogue due out late July to learn what true scholars make of the work and the man. One of the things that I am particularly interested in is his Quaker upbringing. During his talk at the press opening, Turrell shared a story from his childhood: As he and his grandmother were entering a Quaker meeting house, she said to him, “Go inside and greet the light.” He has certainly done that, including creating Skyspace, a 12-foot-square window in the ceiling of the Live Oak Friends Meeting House in Houston, and designing a similar installation for the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House in Philadelphia, which opens this summer. I find it inspiring how Turrell creates sublime experiences with so little, a subtlety and quietude that I can only aspire to bring to my own work.


Smashing Glass: Tim Button Catches Some Great Art at the ICA in Boston

I’ve been a regular visitor to Boston since the late 1990s when we here at Stedila Design began a long-term relationship with the city’s peerless clothing store, LouisBoston. (I’ve blogged about our design for the new Louis store at Fan Pier here.) Like fellow Designers Collaborative member Barry Goralnick, I’m a big fan of Beantown, which has really ramped up its game in recent years. (Barry has previously blogged about two major architectural projects: Norman Foster’s addition to the Boston Fine Arts Museum, and Renzo Piano’s addition to the Isabella Gardner Museum. Another great new building is right across the boat basin from our LouisBoston store: The Institute of Contemporary Art by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the brilliant architects responsible for two great public projects here in Manhattan: the repurposed High Line and the revamped Lincoln Center. I dropped in to the ICA when I was up in Boston recently and was blown away by an amazing exhibition of works by the glass artist Josiah McElenhy. He creates wonderful objects—vessels that hold tears; chandeliers based on the iconic crystal-starburst fixtures at the Metropolitan Opera (there are three of them in a row that you can walk around, as if the Big Bang theory was transposed into light pendents); Buckminster Fuller-inspired sculptures hanging in space, which are funny and beautiful. The show runs through October 14. Check it out if you possible can.

ICA Boston designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and photographed by Iwan Baan

The Institute of Contemporary Art at Fan Pier in Boston, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Photograph by Iwan Baan

ICA Boston exxterior photographed by Iwan Baan

The ICA, like many Diller Scofidio + Renfro urban projects, includes bleacher seating from which the public can enjoy city views–here, an uninterrupted panorama of the Boston Harbor. 

The Theory of Tears, 1995. Handblown glass, velvet panel, typewriter ink on paper, brass mounting hardware, sheet glass, stained wood.

Josiah McElheny’s The Theory of Tears, 1995, a sculpture consisting of two dozen empty glass vials in uniform rows in a wooden cabinet. It’s part of a thrilling exhibition of the glass artist’s work at the ICA in Boston, closing October 14.

Island Universe, 2008. Handblown and press-molded glass, chrome-plated aluminum, electric lighting, rigging.

Josiah McElheny’s Island Universe, 2008, a sculptural group made of handblown and press-molded glass, chrome-plated aluminum, electric lighting, and rigging. 

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