Notes on Smiljan Radic

As part of our opening festivities for “EXTRA-ORDINARY: New Practices in Chilean Architecture,” on view through mid-September, Smiljan Radic presented insights into his very personal creative process that includes material, contextuality, image, memory, history, technology, and conviction.

“EXTRA-ORDINARY” also features the work of 14 other Chilean architects: Alejandro Aravena, Guillermo Acuña, Aguiló + Pedraza, José Cruz, 57 Studio, GUN, Hevia + Urzúa, Sebastián Irarrázaval, Cristián Izquierdo, Mathias Klotz, Pedro Kovacic, Max Núñez, Cristián Olivi, and Pezo von Ellrhichshausen. Radic has a special place in the exhibition: a single original model, “Death at Home,” along with 20 associated ink drawings. The installation has the immediacy of the hand of the artist; it is original material, and suitably cryptic. Continue reading “Notes on Smiljan Radic”

Michael Graves, FAIA, a Memory

A few days have gone by since I heard of Michael Graves’s death. There has been wide coverage in the general media – spots on TV shows and a front-page obit in the New York Times. I posted my own photographic tribute on my maiden-name Facebook page: a picture I took last year of the wheelchair-bound architect, with my also-architect husband Benjamin Kracauer, AIA, at Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, CT.

As a Princeton architecture student in the 1970s (almost the entire decade – 1971-1979), I was Graves’s student in design studio, repeatedly took his Visual Studies class, and had him on reviews. Five Architects was well thumbed, Peter Eisenman, FAIA, showed up for Michael’s juries. The Institute – not the American Institute of Architects, but rather the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies – was a mecca for internships with Peter, Rem Koolhaas, and a host of others making their own mayhem in New York. Oppositions came out regularly: a platform for an academic discourse on architecture and planning that may have singlehandedly invented its own private language through appropriation of critical thought from the other more verbal disciplines of literature, philosophy, and history. And I was a Navy-brat-public-school kid from Los Angeles, transplanted by ambition to the recently co-educated ivy halls. Continue reading “Michael Graves, FAIA, a Memory”