Saturday, April 07, 2012

Two Must-See Shows

Here are two shows to catch in New York City:

Lebbeus Woods: Early Drawings

Until April 14, 2012
Friedman Benda
515 West 26th Street

Clear Light: The Architecture of Lauretta Vinciarelli

Until May 25, 2012
Spitzer School of Architecture, City College
141 Convent Avenue (at W. 135th Street)

The ink and pencil drawings of Lebbeus Woods and the watercolors of the late Lauretta Vinciarelli may not appear to hold much in common -- the former's are dynamic, alien, and aggressive, while the latter's are orthogonal, repetitive, and often symmetrical --  but they do share some characteristics, and seeing them in person is equally rewarding. First, both of their works exhibit a very sure hand that comes from a lifetime exploring and presenting ideas via their 2d media; the skill of each is phenomenal, accentuated when seen in person. Second, even though the architectural forms and spaces are so different, their fantastical creations share a poetry in the way they approach architecture and its relationship to people; the various spaces are so different from the norm they become powerful. And third, Lebbeus Woods wrote a beautiful eulogy to Vinciarelli when she died last year, strongly expressing his affinity for her paintings and all they express; his words indicate how ideas are what are important, and they can take many forms. Whatever your leanings in terms of form, style, media, both of these shows are must sees.