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Abstraction and Representation: Contemporary Architectural Drawings

Friday November 9, 2001 - Friday December 21, 2001
Abstraction and Representation: Contemporary Architectural DrawingsInterior View, Technology Culture Museum, courtesy Asymptote Architecture

For centuries, architects have used drawings to express and explore ideas. These drawings illuminate the creative process of designing buildings and theoretical projects and reflect changing attitudes about visual representation. Bracketed by early modernist drawings which rejected Beaux-Arts conventions and by computer-generated drawings developed in the late 1990s, the past century encompasses the most diverse range of methods of architectural representation in history.

This exhibition provided an opportunity to see drawings by Asymptote Architecture, Michael Graves, Hariri & Hariri, Steven Holl, Ralph Johnson, Tai Soo Kim, Cesar Pelli, Antoine Predock, Thomas Mayne, Robert Stern, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Stuart Silk, and Robert Venturi, architects whose work was critical to late 20th-century American architecture.

Morphosis drawing

Thomas Mayne, Sixth Street Residence, Ocean Park, California, screenprint after composite drawing, 1988 (courtesy Morphosis)

Whether a quick sketch, a fine graphite or color pencil rendering, a bas-relief, a digital image, or an animation, each of these works captures a moment in the design process of a specific building. Seen here together, they represented a wide variety of graphic styles that have been both defined by architects' personal visions and more broadly influenced by history and technology.

Friday 9 November - Friday 21 December 2001

On Tuesday 13 November at 5:30 P.M., Tod Williams and Billie Tsien spoke at Wesleyan's Russell House (350 High Street, a short block north and across the street from the DAC) about their work, which bridges the worlds of theory and practice, architecture and fine arts. "Working in a profession that is still called upon to erect monuments of boomingly hollow authority, Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien represent the higher realm of human scale" --The New York Times. The talk was sponsored by the Samuel Silipo '85 Endowment Fund, the Davison Art Center, and the Office of the Dean of the Arts & Humanities.

Martha Añez, Assistant Professor of Art, gave a gallery talk at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday 29 November 2001 at the DAC.

This exhibition was held in conjunction with the Department of Art and Art History course "Measured Drawing: Abstraction and Representation." It was organized in collaboration with Martha Añez, assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History, and was made possible by support from the Lemberg Fund and the Office of the Dean of the Arts and Humanities.