Tag Archives: architecture

A Monumental Scaffolding of Poplar Wood at Rice Gallery by Ben Butler


Ben Butler (previously) is fascinated by the complex structures that emerge from simple and delicate processes. This phenomenon can be found in the elaborate systems produced by ant colonies to human cities, small quotidian actions accumulating into overpowering structures. Unbounded, Butler’s installation on display at Rice University Gallery in Houston, Texas, uses this same idea by assembling over 10,000 pieces of poplar wood into a matrix-like structure. This massive arrangement coalesces into an unexpectedly mesmerizing array of grids that stretch to fill the gallery space.

Butler approached this installation, as he commonly does within his practice, without initial sketches or ideas of what he would like the structure to look like. He played with the materials, discovering configurations on the spot. Although the grids within Unbounded were pre-made in his studio, the way they were configured and connected horizontally was all in response to the space. This way of acting in the present ensured that the structure’s outcome would be organic, and not purely responding to a preconceived shape.

Poplar wood was chosen for the installation because of its malleability and abundance, which gave Butler the ability to fiddle with a material that seemed endless. This idea of endlessness also tied into the title he chose for the piece. Butler wanted the piece to have no defined boundary or vantage point, but encourage the audience to walk around and within the structure, discovering it from all angles.








Butler received an MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. He currently lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee and Quogue, New York and has an upcoming exhibition of his sculptures and drawings at The University of Mississippi Museum, Oxford opening in September 2015.

Unbounded will remain on display at Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas until August 28, 2015. (via designboom)

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City Museum: A 10-Story Former Shoe Factory Transformed into the Ultimate Urban Playground


Housed in the former home of the 10-story International Shoe Company, the sprawling 600,000 square-foot City Museum in St. Louis is quite possibly the ultimate urban playground ever constructed. The museum is the brainchild of artist and sculptor Bob Cassilly who opened the space in 1997 after years of renovation and construction. Although Cassilly passed away in 2011, the museum is perpetually under construction as new features are added or improved thanks to a ragtag group of 20 artists known affectionately as the Cassilly Crew.

So what can you find at the City Museum? How about a sky-high jungle gym making use of two repurposed airplanes, two towering 10-story slides and numerous multi-floor slides, a rooftop Ferris wheel and a cantilevered school bus that juts out from the roof, subterranean caves, a pipe organ, hundreds of feet of tunnels that traverse from floor to floor, an aquarium, ball pits, a shoe lace factory, a circus arts facility, restaurants, and even a bar… because why not? All the materials used to build the museum including salvaged bridges, old chimneys, construction cranes, and miles of tile are sourced locally, making the entire endeavor a massive recycling project.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart) and live in the midwestern United States or have any other means to get to St. Louis, if you aren’t immediately planning a trip to City Museum, you’re missing out on life. On my first visit last year our family hardly left the museum for two days. It is the complete antithesis to commercialized theme parks like Disneyland. You can see more photos at Gallery Hip.










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Perfect Home: An Immersive Tour of Do Ho Suh’s Massive Silk Architecture Installations

Korean artist Do Ho Suh (previously here and here) is interested in how we interact with public space. Directed, shot, and edited by Nils Clauss, “Perfect Home” brings together several exhibitions from 2002-2012 to examine the breadth of Do Ho Suh’s immersive works. Due to the thin nature of the fabric Do Ho Suh often uses to construct his installations, the pieces are extremely difficult to capture without standing directly next to, or within. Perfect Home manages to look at the artist’s work as one might if physically in the space, producing angles that imitate a natural way of absorbing the work.

Clauss allows the audience to at first be alone with Do Ho Suh’s work, examining both minuscule details and the works from afar. At the very end of the film scenes that include others interacting with the work are introduced. These shots give the viewer a sense of how others interact with the space, and force us to share these now public works.


Do Ho Suh was born in 1962 in Seoul, and studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and sculpture at Yale University. Do Ho Suh’s work examines the malleability of space, both physically and how it is perceived metaphorically. The artist’s large scale and site-specific instillations often compare the individual to the collective. Do Ho Suh’s work is included in a number of museum collections internationally, and in 2013 was named WSJ Magazine’s Innovator of the Year in Art. Do Ho Suh now splits his work and residence between New York, London, and Seoul.





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Stephanie K. Clark’s Thread Paintings Capture Homes in Their Distinctly Native Surroundings


Stephanie K Clark builds homes from swatches of cloth and spools of thread, embroidering tiny dwellings which appear to absorb the sun and moonlight from her small-scale scenes. The structures and their surrounding landscaping appear in vibrant colors while supporting and environment-specific trees, cacti, flamingos, and dogs lay nearby in faint black outlines.

The Salt Lake City-based Clark envisions the works as paintings with thread, and spends most of her time sewing and finding alternative ways to explore the creative process. “When I embroider on canvas it feels like oils; it flows, it blends, and it’s rich,” says the artist on her website. “When I embroider on loose shear or silk, it’s like a watercolor; its delicate, the thread goes where it wants to go, and it moves with the fabric.” Clark uses the embroidery to create a domestic feel that she believes accurately the tells the story of both a life in the home and family.

Clark does not sell her embroideries online, but takes commissions via email. More work of Clark’s can be found on her blog and Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)










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Large Format Photographs Capture Ornate Opera Houses From Around the World


All images © David Leventi, Margravial Opera House, BAYREUTH, GERMANY, 2008

David Leventi photographs the interiors of world famous opera houses, capturing the ornate design of the architecture found inside. Using 4×5″ and 8×10″ Arca-Swiss cameras, Leventi captures each opera house from the vantage of an operatic singer, photographing the space from the very center of the stage.

Leventi is not just aesthetically inspired by the opera houses he photographs, but also holds a familial connection to their structures. He is the son of two architects, and the project was started in remembrance of his grandfather Anton Gutman, a cantor trained after World War II by a famous Danish operatic tenor. Gutman performed for prisoners and officers while interned at a prisoner-of-war camp in the Soviet Union, and Leventi’s photographs are a gesture that aims to examine the spaces he was never able to perform.

Leventi’s photographic process imitates with light what a performer would do with his or her voice, light waves bouncing off of each architectural element and bringing the vast space back to the detailed image. Each photograph captures a view impossible to the naked eye, combing both line-of-sight and periphery imagery to produce images that wrap the viewer in the experience of each world famous theatre. Leventi is not just capturing the depth of the space, but also the extensive history lived within each performance hall.

Leventi received his BFA in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and is represented by galleries internationally. Leventi’s exhibition “David Leventi: Opera” will open May 7 at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York City, and his first monograph by the same name (published by Damiani) will be released this spring. (via Arch Atlas)

All images © David Leventi, Romanian Athenaeum BUCHAREST, ROMANIA, 2007

Romanian Athenaeum BUCHAREST, ROMANIA, 2007

La Fenice VENICE, ITALY, 2008

La Fenice VENICE, ITALY, 2008

Curtain, Palais Garnier PARIS, FRANCE, 2009

Curtain, Palais Garnier PARIS, FRANCE, 2009

Palais Garnier PARIS , FRANCE, 2009

Palais Garnier PARIS , FRANCE, 2009

The Metropolitan Opera NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, 2008

The Metropolitan Opera NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, 2008

Teatro di Villa Aldrovandi Mazzacorati BOLOGNA, ITALY, 2014

Teatro di Villa Aldrovandi Mazzacorati BOLOGNA, ITALY, 2014

Mariinsky Theater ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA, 2009

Mariinsky Theater ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA, 2009

Teatro di San Carlo NAPLES, ITALY, 2009

Teatro di San Carlo NAPLES, ITALY, 2009

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía VALENCIA, SPAIN, 2014

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía VALENCIA, SPAIN, 2014



Curtain, Royal Swedish Opera, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2008

Curtain, Royal Swedish Opera, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2008

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The Inverted Architecture and Gravity-Defying Worlds of Cinta Vidal


In her latest series of paintings, Barcelona-based artist and illustrator Cinta Vidal Agulló defies gravity and architectural conventions to create encapsulated scenes of intersecting perspectives. Painted with acrylic on wood panels, Vidal refers to the paintings as “un-gravity constructions” and says that each piece examines how a person’s internal perspective of life may not match up with the reality around them. The intersecting planes on many of her paintings are somewhat reminiscent of drawings by M.C. Escher, where every angle and available surface is inhabited by colorful characters going about their daily lives. She shares in a new interview with Hi-Fructose:

With these un-gravity constructions, I want to show that we live in one world, but we live in it in very different ways – playing with everyday objects and spaces, placed in impossible ways to express that many times, the inner dimension of each one of us does not match the mental structures of those around us. The architectural spaces and day-to-day objects are part of a metaphor of how difficult it is to fit everything that shapes our daily space: our relationships, work, ambitions, and dreams.

Vidal just opened a new exhibition of work at Miscelanea BCN in Barcelona and you can read an in-depth conversation with the artist on Hi-Fructose.







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New Large-scale Geometric Illusions in Paris by Felice Varini

Photo © André Morin

Swiss artist Felice Varini (previously) recently opened a new solo exhibition titled “La Villette En Suites” featuring a number of anamorphic projections designed to be viewed from a single location creating an uncanny optical illusion. Varini is fascinated by architecture as backdrop for his artwork and seeks unusual spaces with varying planes of depth for his installations which can grow to be quite dramatic.

The new geometric pieces (which are technically paintings) are installed in both interior and exterior spaces around the Grande halle de la Villette within Parc de la Villette through September 13, 2015. You can see more views of the exhibition on StreetArtNews, and follow Varini directly on Facebook.

Photo © André Morin

Photo © André Morin

Photo © André Morin

Photo © André Morin

Photo © André Morin

Photo © André Morin

Photo © André Morin

Photo © André Morin

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