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Article

Walter Smith

(b Buenos Aires, 1945).

American architect and theorist of Argentine birth. She received her Diploma of Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires in 1967 and studied further in Paris at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Centre du Recherche d’Urbanisme (1967–9). She moved to New York in 1971. From 1976 Agrest taught at Cooper Union, New York, and at Columbia, Princeton and Yale universities. In 1980 she went into partnership with her husband, Mario Gandelsonas (b 1938), in the firm A & G Development Consultants Inc., in New York. She also formed her own firm, Diana Agrest, Architect, in New York. Agrest was deeply involved in theoretical research, and was a Fellow at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, New York, from 1972 to 1984. She was strongly influenced by semiotics and developed the idea that architecture can refer beyond itself, discussed particularly in her essay on architecture and film (...

Article

[CESCM]

French organization founded in Poitiers in 1953. The Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CECSM) is affiliated with the Université de Poitiers, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), and the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. The founders, among them historian Edmond-René Labande and art historian René Crozet, began CESCM as a month-long interdisciplinary study of medieval civilization, inviting foreign students to participate. CESCM has since developed into a permanent organization but maintains the international and interdisciplinary focus of its founders.

CESCM continues to hold its formative summer session, known as ‘Les Semaines d’études médiévales’, and invites advanced graduate students of all nationalities. The summer session spans two weeks and includes sessions on a variety of topics, each conducted by a member or affiliate of CESCM. CESCM supports collaborative research groups and regularly holds colloquia attended by the international scholarly community.

Since 1958 CECSM has published ...

Article

Anthony D. King

Like capitalism, industrialization, and slavery (with all of which it is connected), colonialism is one of the most significant and powerful historical forces that has shaped and continues to shape the cultures of the contemporary world. In architecture and the visual arts, stylistic categories such as Orientalism, Chinoiserie, or Modernism have been constructed through the prisms of colonialism. Concepts of the ‘primitive’, the ‘traditional’, or the ‘vernacular’ have been invented, defined, and legitimized through colonialist assumptions. In addition, social practices such as collecting have been facilitated and institutionalized through colonial ventures (Jasanoff, 2009). These trends have also produced a string of counter-movements deeply critical of colonialism in architecture and the fine arts that continue through the present day.

Colonialism describes a dominant–dependent relationship in which the territory and resources of one people are taken over and exploited, usually by violent means, by the people of another territory, generally of a different culture and ethnicity. It can be described as the unequal distribution of social, political, and physical power. Any definition of colonialism immediately poses the question as to whether it represents the position of the colonizer or the colonized. The definitions of Balandier (...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

Architecture, design and conceptual art partnership. Diller Scofidio + Renfro [Diller + Scofidio] was formed in 1979 by Elizabeth Diller (b Lodz, Poland, 1954) and Ricardo Scofidio (b New York, NY, 1935) as an interdisciplinary design practice based in New York.

Diller studied at the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York (BArch, 1979) and then worked as an Assistant Professor of Architecture (1981–90) at the Cooper Union School of Architecture, becoming Associate Professor of Architecture at Princeton University in 1990. Scofidio, who also attended Cooper Union (1952–5), obtained his BArch from Columbia University (1960) and became Professor of Architecture at Cooper Union in 1965. In 1997 Charles Renfro joined the firm and was made partner in 2004, at which point the partnership changed its name to Diller Scofidio + Renfro. While the couple (who are married) initially eschewed traditional architectural projects in favor of installations, set design and landscape design, by the 21st century their firm had received commissions for both new buildings and renovations of existing architecture. Diller and Scofidio were the first architects to receive a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. 2 Aug. 1941, Damgarten, Germany).

British historian of Islamic art and architecture. Hillenbrand was educated at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, earning his D.Phil. in 1974. Three years earlier he had begun teaching in the Department of Fine Art in the University of Edinburgh, where he occupied the position formerly held by D. T. Rice. He remained there throughout his career, being awarded a chair in 1989. He trained several generations of younger scholars from Europe, the USA and the Middle East. His home in Edinburgh was where he and his wife Carole, a noted historian, entertained scholars in diverse fields of Islamic studies. Holder of visiting professorships at several universities in Europe and the United States, he delivered the 1993 Kevorkian Lectures at New York University. One of the most versatile and eloquent scholars of his generation, his interests focused on Islamic architecture, painting and iconography, with particular reference to Iran and early Islamic Syria....

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 5 April 1938, in Worcester, Massachusetts; died 8 February 2014, in New York.

Sculptor, installation artist, filmmaker, photographer. Land Art, Environmental Art, Public Art, Post-Minimalism.

Nancy Holt received a BA in Biology from Tufts University in 1960 and then briefly travelled through Europe, before moving to New York City. There, she met influential Minimalist and Post-Minimalist artists, many of whom would become collaborators, including: Carl Andre, Dan Graham, Eva Hesse, Joan Jonas, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, and Richard Serra. Holt’s early artistic output was primarily photography, video, and Concrete poetry, mediums in which she continued to work throughout her career....

Article

Benjamin Flowers

(b New York, March 14, 1921; d New York, Jan 7, 2013).

American architectural critic. Ada Louise Huxtable (Landman) is one of the best known American architecture critics in the post-World War II era (and one of the few women working in that field). Educated at Hunter College and New York University, she has written prolifically on the many successes and shortcomings of American architecture and urbanism. Huxtable is notable for her wide-ranging eye and sharp pen.

Huxtable spent several years early in her career working at the architecture department of the Museum of Modern Art. She later wrote for both Progressive Architecture and Arts Magazine. In 1958 she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to support her research on “structural and design advances of American architecture.” In 1963 she was appointed chief architecture critic for the New York Times, a post she held until 1982. In the nearly two decades she was at the Times, Huxtable polished the quick and taut critical style for which she had already developed a reputation. Commenting on the unconscionable civic bungling that allowed the demolition of Pennsylvania Station (by ...

Article

Richard Dagenhart

(b Rotterdam, Nov 17, 1944).

Dutch architect, architectural theorist, and urbanist. Brought up in Rotterdam, Jakarta, and Amsterdam, Koolhaas studied script writing at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam and was a film scriptwriter in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. He studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London (1968–72), where his ideas were shaped by the architectural neo-avant-garde of the 1960s. He continued his architectural studies at Cornell University (1972–5) and initiated conceptual design projects focused on contemporary metropolitan culture and New York City, including The City of the Captive Globe (1974), Hotel Sphinx (1975), and New Welfare Island/Palace Hotel (1975-6). He founded the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam in 1975 and wrote Delirious New York (1978) while he was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City. These experiences combined to set out a critical framework for his design practice by engaging and revealing the contradictions between architecture and urbanism—one humanist, human-scaled, and moral; the other technocratic, amoral, and global. This is the context that has framed his prolific writing and architecture/urban design practice in OMA and its media based twin, AMO....

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 27 May 1944, in New York City.

Installation artist, sculptor, designer. Land Art, environmental art, site-specific art.

Mary Miss studied at the University of California at Santa Barbara, graduating with a BA in 1966. She received her MFA from the Rhinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Art Institute in ...

Article

Charles T. Little

(b Paris, 1931; d May 1, 2009).

French art historian of medieval art. As Professor of the University of Paris IV (Paris-Sorbonne) from 1981 until 1998, she was a leading specialist in French architecture and stained glass. She was president of the French section of Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi from 1980 to 1988. Studying at the Ecole du Louvre, she wrote initially on the sculpture of Reims, followed by a study on Notre-Dame-en-Vaux at Châlons-en-Champagne, Notre-Dame-en-Vaux. Her doctoral dissertation for the Sorbonne, under the direction of Louis Grodecki (1910–82), became an important monograph on St Remi at Reims. This was later followed by several books on Chartres Cathedral that stand out as classic studies. Aside from technical studies of the origin and development of the flying buttress, she was able to determine building sequences for a number of monuments by utilizing dendrochonological analysis of wooden beams. Her interest in Gothic architecture lead to a new series devoted to the Gothic monuments of France by Editions Picard. Her important contribution to Zodiaque publications included books on the ...

Article

Jeremy Hunt and Jonathan Vickery

At the turn of the millennium, public art was an established global art genre with its own professional and critical discourse, as well as constituencies of interest and patronage independent of mainstream contemporary art. Art criticism has been prodigious regarding public art’s role in the ‘beautification’ of otherwise neglected social space or in influencing urban development. Diversity and differentiation are increasingly the hallmarks of public art worldwide, emerging from city branding strategies and destination marketing as well as from artist activism and international art events and festivals. The first decade of the 21st century demonstrated the vast opportunity for creative and critical ‘engagement’, activism, social dialogue, and cultural co-creation and collective participation. New public art forms emerged, seen in digital and internet media, pop-up shops, and temporary open-access studios, street performance, and urban activism, as well as architectural collaborations in landscape, environment or urban design.

Intellectually, the roots of contemporary public art can be found in the ludic and the architectonic: in the playful public interventions epitomized in the 1960s by the ...

Article

Mercedes Daguerre

(b Isola dei Liri, Nov 9, 1941).

Italian architect, urban planner, theorist and teacher. In 1966 he worked on an urban plan for the bank of the River Tiber, Rome, with Laura Thermes, with whom he formed a long partnership. He also trained in the office of Maurizio Sacripanti (b 1916), Rome, and graduated in 1971 from the Università La Sapienza, Rome, under Ludovico Quaroni. In the early 1970s he worked on a number of unexecuted competition designs, including those for the Zen district (1970) in Palermo, the Università degli Studi, Florence (1971), and the Università di Calabria (1973), Rende. In these a strongly geometric layout was used to investigate the individual buildings’ relationship to the natural and historic qualities of the site. The house (1977) at Fiumicino, on the other hand, reveals a didactic element in his work, as the various stages of its design are manifest in the building’s appearance. A narrative approach, in the historical sense, also appears in the Casa del Farmacista (...

Article

Nadja Rottner

French critic and philosopher Nicolas Bourriaud adopted the term ‘relational aesthetics’ in the mid-1990s to refer to the work of a selected group of artists, and what he considers their novel approach to a socially conscious art of participation: an art that takes as its content the human relations elicited by the artwork. Its key practitioners, most of them emerging in the 1990s, include Rirkrit Tiravanija , Philippe Parreno (b 1964), Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe, Maurizio Cattelan, Carsten Höller , and Vanessa Beecroft . For example, Carsten Höller installed Test Site (2006) at the Tate Modern in London so that visitors could enjoy the amusement park thrill of large playground slides in the museum’s Turbine Hall, and bond with fellow viewers over their experience. Bourriaud’s collected writings in Relational Aesthetics (1998, Eng. edn 2002) helped to spark a new wave of interest in participatory art.

While Bourriaud omits acknowledging the historical roots of relational art, Marxist-influenced critiques of the changing conditions of modern life, and arguments for art’s ability to improve man’s relationship with reality have a long history in 20th-century art. Critics Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer were among the first to developed new models for an art of politicized participation in the 1920s. The relational art of the 1990s and early 2000s is a continuation and an extension of traditions of participatory art throughout the 20th century (such as ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b Barrow-in Furness, 1935).

British historian of Islamic art. After studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and teaching philosophy there, his interests gradually shifted to Islamic art, particularly the art and architecture of Seljuq Anatolia, about which he eventually wrote his Ph.D. He taught at the American University of Cairo from 1965 until 1977, when he joined the Department of Oriental Antiquities at the British Museum. From 1991 to 2000 he was the Nasser D. Khalili Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and has been Honorary Curator of the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art since 1992. His extensive and meticulous scholarship, largely found in hundreds of learned articles, chapters, and reviews, is marked by his fluency in many languages and vast knowledge of primary sources.

J. M. Rogers: The Spread of Islam (Oxford, 1976) J. M. Rogers: Islamic Art and Design 1500–1700 (exh. cat., London, BM, 1983)...

Article

Helen Ennis

(b Berlin, Sept 18, 1913; d Melbourne, Aug 7, 2007).

Australian photographer of German birth. His father, Dr Johannes Sievers, was an architectural historian. Sievers trained at the Contempora private art academy in Berlin in 1933. Due to his leftwing sympathies and Jewish descent, Sievers left Germany in 1934 and lived and worked in Portugal. He returned to Berlin in 1936 where he began teaching at the Contempora academy. Sievers developed his interest in architectural photography through his father, who was an expert on the German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and through contact with influential modernist architect Erich Mendelsohn. Sievers applied to migrate to Australia in 1938—one of his sponsors was photographer Axel Poignant (1906–86), then living in Western Australia—but after being called up to the Luftwaffe he fled to England in 1938. He arrived in Australia in August that year and settled in Melbourne. He married Finnish émigré Brita Klarich in 1939 (divorced in 1972), and had two children, Karin (...

Article

Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

(b Oakland, CA, April 23, 1948).

American architect, educator, historian and writer. Smith’s lasting contribution to architecture was reintroducing the teaching of classical and traditional design that had been supplanted in American architectural education by modernist precepts. These modernist ideas originated in the early 20th-century at the Bauhaus in Germany.

Smith’s academic training began in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in painting from the University of California at Berkeley. After an extensive period of study and travel in Europe, including trips to Rome and Vicenza, he refocused his training on architecture and received a Master of Architecture in 1975 from the University of California at Berkeley. Smith’s early architectural projects expressed the current Postmodern style that incorporated historic elements in an otherwise modern building. His growing interest in canonical classicism influenced his decision to apply for the Rome Prize in Architecture, which allowed him to study at the American Academy in Rome in 1979. He was included in the seminal ...

Article

[SAH]

Professional organization devoted to the study of architecture worldwide. Founded in 1940 by a small group of students and teachers attending summer session at Harvard University, the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) has grown into the leading professional and scholarly organization in the world concerned with various aspects of the built environment. With a membership of around 2700, composed of architectural historians, architects, planners, preservationists, students, and other individuals interested in the subject, as well as nearly 1000 institutions worldwide, it publishes a scholarly periodical, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, whose topics range from antiquity to the present day around the world; a monthly electronic Newsletter; and a multi-volume book series of detailed guides to the architecture of the individual American states, Buildings of the United States (BUS). The Society sponsors an annual meeting, held each year in a different part of the USA or Canada, or occasionally elsewhere, where members present scholarly papers, discuss these papers and other architectural topics, explore the area via a series of tours, and learn of the award of a number of prizes for notable accomplishments in the field, as well as designation of Fellows of the Society for lifetime contributions to architectural history. These include four book awards, the Alice Davis Hitchcock, Spiro Kostof, Elisabeth Blair MacDougall, and Antoinette Forrester Downing, for architecture, the built environment, landscape architecture, and preservation, respectively; the Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award; the Founders’ Award for the best article published in the ...

Article

Roxana Marcoci

(b Rome, Dec 1, 1943).

Italian architect and theorist. She studied at the Università La Sapienza, Rome, and her early collaboration with Franco Purini on an urban project (1966; unexecuted) for the bank of the River Tiber, Rome, led to a long partnership between the two. As a theorist, Thermes attempted to unite the legacy of 20th-century Rationalism, particularly the experiments of the Russian Constructivists, the elementarism of the early Le Corbusier and the work of the Italian Gruppo 7, especially Adalberto Libera and Giuseppe Terragni, to the wider history of architecture. Her approach was also indebted to the essay Comment j’ai écrit certains de mes livres (1935) by Raymond Roussel (1877–1933). Her plans and projects exhibit qualities of excess and rhetorical complexity, reminiscent of Piranesi, in a search for an imaginative synthesis of her sources of inspiration. Her most successful designs relate to the theme of the house and its ability to restore a metaphorical dimension to urban life. These include the Casa des Farmacista (...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....

Article

Botond Bognar

(b Yamagata, Aug 10, 1948).

Japanese architect and critic. He was educated at the University of Tokyo, studying under Kenzō Tange and Sachio Ōtani. After graduating in 1975, he worked for Arata Isozaki from 1978 to 1983 and then established his own office in Tokyo (1984). At first he was both a designer and an architectural critic, contributing to numerous national and international journals and publications. In his architecture Yatsuka aims at an acceleration of modernism that is not only sharply critical of the reactionary, classicist and other historicist tendencies in international Post-modernism but also challenges modernist ideology and dogma. His ‘deconstructionist’ designs, loose assemblies of individual parts, which are influenced by contemporary French philosophy, occupy a position between Structuralism and Post-structuralism; they show affinity with the works of Rem Koolhaas (b 1944), Bernard Tschumi and Zaha Hadid (b 1950). His few completed projects include the acclaimed Angelo Tarlazzi Building (...