where the ekphrasis of a ruin caprice serves to represent a piranesian
Yet the central event in the Neue Staatsgalerie promenade - the circular courtyard - may descend from another Piranesian
Liverpool site, though one lost long ago.
However, while Pannini's ruin fantasies are still firmly rooted in the formal language of baroque quadratura (illusionistic) painting, in the hands of the younger generation the genre has a more historicist look: they enrich it with archaeological detail studied at first hand as well as with a Piranesian
architectural vocabulary and sense of scale.
In an installation of two works, Turm (Tower) and Autobahn, 2003 and 2006, respectively, a two-lane momentarily spirals off the ground like a Hot Wheels racetrack, before landing to career headlong into a Piranesian
fantasy tower of vertical highway ribbons.
Although it offers lovely, spatially dynamic vistas through cutouts on the wall, and although a Piranesian
ramp hovers above, the space lacks the joyous freedom of Piranesi, even as it lacks the ordered resolution of a Kahn.
But the interior joyride's up to scratch, all Piranesian
perspectives thrown through vast windows out to the countryside, and dizzying Alice-in-Wonderland labyrinths--an architectural epitaph, perhaps, to the long-gone good old days of rampant consumerism and razzle-dazzle buildings.
Likewise, the intricate and disquieting architectural wall drawings of Argentinean Pablo Siquier--which amount to a sort of Piranesian
abstraction--and Bolivian Roberto Valcarcel's Escala de cuantificacion, 2004--a set of geometric paintings in the form of signs distributed throughout the hall purporting to measure the presence or lack of subjective qualities such as passion--add particular notes of finesse and wit.
24) In this publication, characteristic Piranesian
vedute sit beside extraordinary representations of sluice systems, lead plumbing, nozzles, and measures for the regulation of water--technical diagrams raised to the level of an art form.
The centerpiece of this--and indeed of the whole museum--is the east gallery, a rambling nave of space that stretches nearly four-hundred-and-fifty feet in length, under a white Piranesian
ceiling of bridges, catwalks, and slender ribbons of roof truss.
The narrow wing of the library and meeting rooms is placed along Via Roentgen, separated from the offices by a long, top-lit Piranesian
stairwell bisected by bridges, landings and breakout spaces.
Interspersed with this animation are Kentridge's charcoal drawings of Vesalian anatomies, Piranesian
ruins, and hospital corridors.
However, the real spatial punch is waiting to sock you on exiting into the scooped out void of the terminal frontage, with its Piranesian
display of bridges, walkways and escalators that take you down and off to various modes of ground transportation, or up and away to check-in above.