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beautiful mathematics, 20th century architectural elevations

Two Centuries: An Architectural Evolution
January 8 - extended through May 29, 2010

Design and presentation drawings spanning the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Architecture's evolution from the Ecole-des-Beaux-Arts to Modernism was not always a smooth transition. The profession of "gentlemen architect" often transformed itself into "aesthetic designer," "scientific builder" and "modern artist" in no particular order.

It also became a metaphor for the sweeping changes that transformed the world, evolving from traditional European hierarchies to a very American individual expressionism whose only rule is that "there are no rules."

From D.H. Burnham to Frank Lloyd Wright to the originators of Art Deco and Streamlining, the invention of modern architecture was a completely different language from the Classical tradition.

"Two Centuries: An Architectural Evolution" opens in a commercial exhibit of original drawings, prints and photographs from the mid-Nineteenth to the mid-Twentieth Centuries:  Friday, January 8th extended through May 29, 2010.

gallery interior

Notes on the Exhibition:

Two Centuries: An Architectural Evolution
January 8 -
extended through May 29, 2010

Well,  it's a shiny, new year.  Hope it's better than the last one as the previous  show's "roll of the dice" seems to have been loaded.

My cupboard is never bare, though, and while I was raiding the larder it struck me that the changeover from the drawing style of the 19th Century to that of the 20th was as monumental as the changes to society and culture. There was a story there.
The "Drawings" essay I had written for the previous Wright show had touched on the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and its stress on learning the formalities of drawing as opposed to the techniques of designing.  That little detail was left to the students' later apprenticeships. It would prove to be a wasteful use of the students' and the profession's time. But what a beautiful waste!  A century later, those elaborate elevations assumed the status of fine art and, through their use of subtly applied Japanese wash, wondrous craft.

Wright, of course, did his own thing but at the beginning started working "The Chicago Way" (Chicago School) with casual, practical tectonic drawings that avoided that Beaux-Arts approach he so despised. 

The system instituted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), more of a "vocational" curriculum, was the logical successor to that French system and was adopted worldwide. It also distilled design drawings to their essence and turned them into intellectual, conceptual art. Equally beautiful to the "left brain."

Enough with the lecture.

The back wall of the gallery was going to be left as "Frank Lloyd Wright Land" to accommodate the photographs from the last show. It was also important to my livelihood to keep the "Wasmuth corner," as clients have learned that Wright's Berlin lithographs are more affordable than his drawings but just about as rare.  This new show would just be two opposing walls dueling between the right brain and the left.  

Now all we need is an economy with a pulse.

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Iannelli interior
Alfonso Iannelli
Design for a Modernist Interior (detail)
Graphite and colored pencil on tracing paper,  Circa 1930
9 x 34 inches

Hedin Wallpaper
Louis Hedin
Design for Wallpaper
Pen and ink wash on tissue mounted on card, 1879
12 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Cuneo building
Burnham Brothers
Office Building for John F. Cuneo (detail)
Graphite on tracing paper, June 1929
One of 55 sheets
43 x 30 inches

Viollet le Duc
Eugene Emmanuel Viollet le Duc
Pour la Fleche de la Cathedrale Lausanne (detail)
Exposition de Vien
Pen and watercolor on paper, 1872
20 x 21 inches

Goldberg Associates
Bertrand Goldberg Associates
Layout for Perspective
Boylestown Apartments

Pencil on paper, 1967
17 x 25 1/2 inches

Villeminot tympanum
Louis Villeminot
Viollet le Duc, architect
Design for carved stone tympanum
Graphite on paper, 1881
7 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches

Henry Glass design drawing
Henry P. Glass
Suggestions for Collapsible Furniture Systems (detail)
Chalk and pastel on toned paper, Circa 1946
18 1/2 x 24 inches

Harry Viehman
Harry Viehman
A Memorial Lighthouse (detail)
Graphite and watercolor wash on heavy paper, 1912
10 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches (One of a pair)

George Pauly drawing
George Pauly
Comparative Study of Orders
India ink and watercolor wash on heavy paper, 1916
27 1/2 x 38 1/2 inches

Empire State drawing
Shreve, Lamb and Harmon
Empire State Building
Isometric (zoning perspective)

Graphite on tracing paper, Oct. 1929
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Sir Mathew Digby Wyatt
Sir Mathew Digby Wyatt 
Plan and Elevation of Two Chalices in the Church of San Domenico
Pencil and colored washes, 1846
14 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches

johnson boston
Conceptual design for Boston Library Addition (detail)
Graphite on yellow tracing paper, 1973
7 1/2 x 17 inches

David Jameson
ArchiTech Gallery
730 North Franklin suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654

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