The classical tradition that Kahn had successfully integrated with modernism came into favor in the 1980s as a reaction to Miesian
restraint and the stripped-down boxes it inspired.
Given that today's vanguard architectural culture is very much alive and well, it would be unrealistic to expect--or even want--the MOMA and Whitney exhibitions to bring about anything resembling a Miesian
Distorting the Miesian
idea of universal space that is moderated by a regular grid of columns held between ground plane and soffit, in this building Ishigami creates something more idiosyncratic, scattering 305 columns within the 45 x 45m rhomboid plan, apparently at random, to create a series of forest-like clearings.
Looking at this show, I thought of friends of my parents' generation, inspired by Miesian
and Scandinavian design, who sparely decorated their modernist homes with collections of pebbles, Noguchi lamps, Japanese textiles, the odd seashell--a kind of reductivist Wunderkammer.
towers exuded the possibilities of curtain wall construction and air conditioning.
And a very polite conversation it seems to be at first, taking place in a sort of Miesian
parlor furnished with beautifully crafted shelves arranged and designed by Corrales, an Andre-like Equivalent sculpture made up of Renton's long-lost catalogues to his 1993 exhibition "Walter Benjamin's Briefcase" (itself famously lost in transit), and some elegantly built wooden sculptures.
With each crook and crank, the 3m wide section shifts on site to create greater depth and incident in plan, successfully exceeding the client's initial aspirations for a simple Miesian
Gunstheimer envisions what would happen if a pair of century-old Chicago mansions and the Miesian
Lake Point Tower on Navy Pier were to experience this transubstantiation, and she documents aspects of the displacement--physical and psychological--of their residents in a series of trompe l'oeil watercolors, two mixed-media wall installations, and a fictitious tabloid newspaper, Chicago News.
On such an expansive site, the building succeeds in creating much more than the pure Miesian
box that the client first requested.
The Brown Pavilion's signature Miesian
curved glass curtain wall, thin black structural ribs, and movable interior walls provide an environment that is at times totally in sync and at other moments in dialectical tension with Oiticica, an artist who, throughout the years covered by "The Body of Color," was immersed in conversations with some of Mies's own fellow travelers in the European avant-gardes--Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Kazimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian, to name only the most central ones.
From the top of the slope, the house appears as a simple, Miesian
(or Johnsonian) pavilion, its lustrous, mirror glass walls calmly reflecting trees and sky.
Not surprisingly, irony, which had been largely absent from high modernist discourse, became a favored technique--and not only because Miesian
gravitas demands a bit of irreverent skewering.