Contemporary Art About Architecture: A Strange Utility, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Contemporary Art About Architecture

A Strange Utility, 1st Edition

Edited by Isabelle Loring Wallace, Nora Wendl


368 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138254572
pub: 2016-10-19
Hardback: 9781409432869
pub: 2013-05-23

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An important resource for scholars of contemporary art and architecture, this volume considers contemporary art that takes architecture as its subject. Concentrated on works made since 1990, Contemporary Art About Architecture: A Strange Utility is the first to take up this topic in a sustained and explicit manner and the first to advance the idea that contemporary art functions as a form of architectural history, theory, and analysis. Over the course of fourteen essays by both emerging and established scholars, this volume examines a diverse group of artists in conjunction with the vernacular, canonical, and fantastical structures engaged by their work. Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Matthew Barney, Monika Sosnowska, Pipo Nguyen-duy, and Paul Pfeiffer are among those considered, as are the compelling questions of architecture's relationship to photography, the evolving legacy of Mies van der Rohe, the notion of an architectural unconscious, and the provocative concepts of the unbuilt and the unbuildable. Through a rigorous investigation of these issues, Contemporary Art About Architecture calls attention to the fact that art is now a vital form of architectural discourse. Indeed, this phenomenon is both pervasive and, in its individual incarnations, compelling - a reason to think again about the entangled histories of architecture and art.


'While scholarship on the intersection between art and architecture is by no means novel, the editors and authors of Contemporary Art about Architecture: A Strange Utility illuminate a developing area of this crossing that is distinct and for which no other volume of its extent exists. The text’s tone is highly academic and intended for audiences versed in contemporary art history … This book is a welcome addition to the interdisciplinary literature of art and architecture, and it is highly recommended for libraries collecting in both contemporary art and architecture.' Arlis

'While the essays are rich in historical and archival evidence, they are also ontological investigations, grounded in theory. And together, they offer a framework for understanding the unique nature of contemporary art’s relation to architecture in light of poststructuralism and the institutional critiques of the 1970s and 1980s.' Journal of Architectural Education

Table of Contents

Contents: Prologue; Introduction, Isabelle Loring Wallace and Nora Wendl; Section I Origins: Approaching architecture: the case of Richard Serra and Michael Asher, Miwon Kwon; Replacing the hut: Dan Graham’s Two-Way Mirror Cylinder Inside Cube, Jennifer Johung. Section II Photography as Architecture: A becoming image: Candida Höfer’s architecture of absence, Jae Emerling; Thomas Struth: architecture and allegory, Paula Carabell; N-O-W-H-E-R-E, Isabelle Loring Wallace. Section III Re-Building Mies’ Modernism: Media as modern architecture, Beatriz Colomina; More almost nothing: Iñigo Manglano- Ovale and the performance of Mies van der Rohe’s Baukunst, Matt Burgermaster; Image as architecture: Thomas Ruff and Mies van de Rohe, Martin Søberg. Section IV Re-Visionaries: The architecture of As If: Josiah McElheny's sculptural proposals, Spyros Papapetros; The pavilions of recollection: architecture and memory in contemporary Eastern European art, Levente Polyak; History re-visioned: Matthew Barney and the neo-Baroque, Rebecca Brantley. Section V Impossible Architectures/Immodest Proposals: Vitruvian figure(s), Nora Wendl; Architecture future perfect: Lara Almarcegui and the ’ghost of content’, Jasmine Benyamin; The manifold dimensions of Janice Kerbel’s architectural diagrams, Jakub Zdebik; Bibliography; Index.

About the Editors

Isabelle Loring Wallace is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, USA.

Nora Wendl is Assistant Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture at Portland State University, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)