Enfilade

Exhibition | Enlightenment and Beauty: Houdon and Clodion

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 11, 2014

Press release (20 March 2014) from The Frick:

Enlightenment and Beauty: Sculptures by Houdon and Clodion
The Frick Collection, New York, 1 April 2014 — 5 April 2015

Curated by Denise Allen and Katie Steiner with Alyse Muller

Houdon_Clodion_02_2000

Installation view of Enlightenment and Beauty: Sculptures by Houdon and Clodion in the Frick’s Portico Gallery, with Clodion’s Zephyrus and Flora in the foreground. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

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The age of Enlightenment, which flourished in France in the eighteenth century, centered on the belief that social and moral advancements stemmed from the application of reason and knowledge. In looking forward to the future, some of the greatest thinkers and artists of the period also looked to the achievements of the ancient past as foundation for modern progress. Two of the foremost French sculptors of the late eighteenth century—Claude Michel, called Clodion (1738–1814), and Jean- Antoine Houdon (1741–1828)—used the language of the antique to articulate the flowing grace and expressive naturalism that typified the contemporary art of the period. These artists are celebrated at The Frick Collection in the exhibition Enlightenment and Beauty: Sculptures by Houdon and Clodion, on view in the Portico Gallery.

Jean-Antoine Houdon, The Comtesse du Cayla, 1777, marble, The Frick Collection; photo: Michael Bodycomb

Jean-Antoine Houdon, The Comtesse du Cayla, 1777, marble, The Frick Collection; photo: Michael Bodycomb.

The installation illuminates Houdon and Clodion’s defining contributions to the art of the Enlightenment by presenting a selection of their works from the Frick’s holdings. These objects, assembled by Henry Clay Frick, his daughter Helen Clay Frick, and more recent gifts and purchases, will rotate throughout the year- long presentation with rarely seen loans from private collections (twelve objects will be on view at all times, with seasonal changes enhancing the presentation). Among them are portrait busts, reliefs, figure groups, and (for the later part of the show’s run), Houdon’s remarkable, life-size terracotta Diana the Huntress, considered one of the Frick’s masterpieces. Together, the sculptures highlight the freedom of the artists’ responses to classical motifs, which they interpreted in marble and terracotta with the realism, beauty, and astonishing technical facility that testify to the innovative spirit of the age. The exhibition is organized by Denise Allen, Curator, and Katie Steiner, Curatorial Assistant, with Alyse Muller, Ayesha Bulchandani-Mathrani Curatorial Intern. Support for the presentation is generously provided by Margot and Jerry Bogert and Mrs. Henry Clay Frick II.

At the outset of their careers, both Houdon and Clodion followed similar paths, studying at the French Royal Academy in Paris and winning the prestigious Prix de Rome for sculpture. This award enabled them to travel in the 1760s to the French Academy in Rome, where they overlapped for a time and engaged first-hand with the antique. In Italy and during their mature years in the French capital, the two artists adapted their deeply internalized knowledge of classical art to suit distinct creative objectives, exemplified by Houdon’s exquisite marble portrait busts and Clodion’s lively terracottas. They maintained, however, a shared commitment to the models of antiquity as well as direct observation from life.

Houdon_Clodion_05_2000

Installation view of Enlightenment and Beauty: Sculptures by Houdon and Clodion in the Frick’s Portico Gallery. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

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Clodion’s Early Inspiration by the Antique

Claude Michel, called Clodion, The Cupid Seller (La marchande d’amours), c. 1765–70, terracotta, anonymous loan; photo: Michael Bodycomb

Claude Michel, called Clodion, The Cupid Seller (La marchande d’amours), c. 1765–70, terracotta, anonymous loan. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

Works in the exhibition dating to or shortly after Houdon and Clodion’s foundational periods in Rome convey their inventive, rather than dryly imitative, treatment of antique prototypes even in the early phases of their careers. Two related reliefs of La marchande d’amours (The Cupid Seller) by Clodion, who lived in Italy from 1762 to 1771, offer a case in point. The panels portray a youthful vendor who eagerly proffers the promise of love—embodied by a winged cupid—to a buyer and her attendant. Clodion’s composition closely mirrors that of a renowned ancient wall painting discovered near Herculaneum in 1759, which was soon after reproduced in engravings. The artist departs from his two-dimensional source, however, by translating it into low-relief sculpture. In his terracotta relief, he uses raised modeling to emphasize the female figures’ profiles and pleated garments and delicate incising to indicate the graceful contours of their limbs, which recede into space. Clodion’s skillful handing of the clay softens the topical character of the scene in the Roman original, and endows his intimately-scaled work with a charming quality suited to the playful sensibilities of eighteenth-century France. The marble version of the relief attests to the appeal of the Cupid Seller subject as well as the success of Clodion’s terracotta, which likely inspired the subsequent commission in the more costly material. The panel also illustrates the artist’s versatile adaptation of the composition to suit a different medium, as he replaces gestural modeling in clay with refined carving in marble to convey the stately, eternal permanence of his highly classicized figures.

The Impact of the Antique upon Houdon

The earliest sculpture by Houdon in the exhibition, an understated yet remarkable terracotta statuette, suggests the direct impact of the antique on the artist while immersed among the treasures of Rome, where he worked for four years beginning in 1764. His elegant, draped female figure replicates a life-size marble statue in the Capitoline Museum, identified at the time as Pandora or Psyche. Houdon reimagines the figure as a follower of Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth whose temple attendants—known as vestals and sworn to a vow of chastity—guarded a perpetual flame. With a serene, blank-eyed expression and draped hands holding an urn of the sacred fire, Houdon’s vestal exhibits the grace and modesty befitting her role. In keeping with the Enlightenment’s emphasis on the individual, the artist downplays the austere, generic qualities of his antique prototype in favor of humanizing the vestal through the subtle, animated sway of her stance and the gentle turn of her head. As a student of anatomy who observed nature as closely as the antique, Houdon suggests the form of the statuette’s figure, (note, especially, her bent knee), beneath the delicately articulated folds of her garment. The work also shares a connection to the Frick family, since a plaster version of the Vestal (now in the Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh) was acquired in the 1930s by Helen Clay Frick, an ardent admirer of Houdon who praised him as “. . . one of the greatest sculptors of all times” in her unpublished monograph on the artist. On loan from a private collection, the terracotta statuette is featured in the exhibition from its April opening through September 2014.

Endowing Later Works with a Contemporary, Naturalistic Spirit

Claude Michel, called Clodion, Three Graces, early 1770s, terracotta, private collection; photo: Michael Bodycomb

Claude Michel, called Clodion, Three Graces, early 1770s, terracotta, private collection. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

Back in Paris, both Houdon and Clodion continued to rely on the classical tradition as they explored increasingly ambitious and expressive compositions. Two similar works by Clodion in Enlightenment and Beauty straddle the divide between the artist’s youth and maturity and attest to the development of the heightened lyricism that is the hallmark of his sculpture. The earlier work in this group, likely made in France in the wake of his Italian sojourn, portrays the Three Graces as caryatids, or female figures serving as architectural pillars. Demonstrating his signature skill in highly finished terracotta, Clodion reduces the monumental scale of prototypes from classical buildings while preserving the figures’ weight-bearing function, in this case for a marble basin now lost. The artist, however, embellishes upon the traditional, single-figure caryatid by encircling the Graces, who link hands in accordance with custom, around a central column. Subtle variations in the figures’ poses, elaborate coiffeurs, and classical costumes enliven the ordered rhythm of the composition, endowing it with a contemporary, naturalistic spirit.

Clodion’s continued interest in animated caryatids emerges in a second treatment of this theme in the exhibition, which postdates the Three Graces by nearly twenty years and pushes the nascent experiments it embodies to daring new heights. The artist’s Dance of Time: Three Nymphs Supporting a Clock, acquired by the Frick in 2006, features an extraordinary trio of gamboling figures that serve as a base for an equally spectacular, glass-enclosed timepiece by the renowned French horologist Jean-Baptiste Lepaute (1727–1802). With boldly outstretched limbs, the carefree nymphs of Clodion’s terracotta nearly break free from the fluted pillar they surround, playfully flouting their role as buttresses. The circular momentum of their joyous dance, suggested by their billowing draperies, proceeds in harmony with the rhythm of the clock’s pendulum and the horizontal rotation of its dial. Together, Clodion’s exuberant nymphs and Lepaute’s ingenious device form a unified expression of the grace, modernity, and classicism that epitomize the art of the Enlightenment. At the start of the exhibition, this work will be on view in its customary location in the Fragonard Room, joining the installation in the Portico in July and remaining there through the rest of the run.

Claude Michel, called Clodion, Zephyrus and Flora, 1799, terracotta, The Frick Collection, New York, Henry Clay Frick bequest. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

Claude Michel, called Clodion, Zephyrus and Flora, 1799, terracotta, The Frick Collection. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

The latest work by Clodion presented in the exhibition exemplifies the poise and enchanting beauty for which his statuettes were celebrated. Dating to 1799, the small-scale terracotta figure group on page one of this release depicts Zephyrus, the god of warm, westerly winds, embracing the lithe body of Flora, the goddess of flowers, as he crowns her with a wreath of roses. The attributes identifying the subjects, such as the breeze-blown drapery encircling Zephyrus and the putti scattering flowers near Flora, offer a bravura demonstration of Clodion’s mastery at modeling in clay. Although the artist draws his subjects from the antique, he interprets them using an imaginative approach to nature that expresses the ideals of the period. As a culminating statement, Zephyrus and Flora provides a particularly apt illustration of biographer Antoine Digné’s comments on the artist in 1814: “The admiration that the precious remains of Greek and Roman antiquities inspired in [Clodion] did not close his eyes to the beautiful works that had been created by some of the moderns; and, while studying the great masters, he sought, as they did, truth and beauty in nature.”

The validity with which Digné’s incisive observations apply to Houdon as well as Clodion is striking, especially in reference to the former’s portrait busts. Enlightenment and Beauty features several important examples of Houdon’s work in this genre, for which he achieved great renown. Carved in marble with the same refined skill that Clodion brought to his modeling, Houdon’s portraits adopt the format of truncated classical busts, yet he transcends that convention through his extraordinary mode of naturalistic representation, derived from close observation from life. In Rome, while making careful studies of ancient art and human anatomy, the artist learned the process of plaster casting, which allowed him to create masks of his sitters’ features and enhance the accuracy of his carved likeness. His attention to the distinct qualities of his subjects, as well as the growing demand for portraits, reflect the prominence of the individual during the Enlightenment.

Houdon and the Portrait Bust: A Fluid Approach

Although one of the earlier busts by Houdon in the exhibition is an allegorical representation rather than a portrait, the artist approaches the work with the same specificity that defined his portrayals of his contemporaries. Taking his subject from popular anecdote, Houdon depicts the Young Lise, a provincial girl who arrived in Paris under the naïve assumption that husbands as well as weddings would be offered to eligible maidens during a municipal celebration. Houdon endows his imaginary depiction of Lise, who gazes demurely downward, with
palpable reality through the virtuosic naturalism of his carving. He expertly modulates the textures of her smooth, unblemished features and bountiful hair bound beneath a wide ribbon, rendering the rear bow in daringly thin, pierced marble. By adopting the idiom of a classical bust, Houdon elevates his subject to that of a timeless manifestation of youthful innocence. This special loan is featured in the exhibition from April through June.

In the same way that Houdon’s bust of Lise personifies a concept, his portrait of Élisabeth-Susanne de Jaucourt, comtesse du Cayla (shown on page one), depicts the young noblewoman embodying the role of a bacchante, or female follower of Bacchus. The grape leaves across her breast, as well as her windswept hair and sidelong glance, suggest that she is turning to run or dance in celebration of the god of wine and revelry. Through his use of Bacchic imagery, Houdon not only alludes to the comtesse’s husband’s family name, Baschi, but also explores the possibilities of the portrait bust format to convey motion. The classical guise she adopts and the animation of her pose thus enables the artist to portray her sprightly youth as well as her handsome features, offering a more complete and intimate suggestion of her character to Enlightenment audiences.

Jean-Antoine Houdon, Armand-Thomas Hue, Marquis de Miromesnil, 1777 Marble (The Frick Collection). Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

Jean-Antoine Houdon, Armand-Thomas Hue, Marquis de Miromesnil, 1777, marble, The Frick Collection. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

The contrast between the exuberant Comtesse du Cayla with two other, more restrained busts in the exhibition conveys Houdon’s fluid approach to portraiture and the classical tradition, which he adapted to suit his distinct aims and the individual qualities of his sitters. In his bust of Marie Anne de Vastre, wife of German banker Pierre-François His, Houdon unites the dignity of a Roman portrait with close observation from life to depict his subject’s external appearance as forcefully as her noble bearing and intelligence. In contrast to the downwardly tumbling curls of her elaborate coiffeur and the flowing undulations of her mantle and chemise, Madame His holds her head erect and looks outward with a direct gaze. Through the uncanny realism of her carved eyes, in which minute reserves of marble serve as highlights in the darker recesses of her drilled pupils, Houdon suggests the sharpness of her intellect.

The artist’s use of the classical bust format to convey Madame His’s stately self-possession is echoed in his portrait of Armand-Thomas Hue, Marquis de Miromesnil. With his buttoned cassock, sash, and voluminous robe, the Marquis wears the costume of his august office as France’s Minister of Justice, a role he held for thirteen years
beginning in 1774. The crisp articulation of the garments is distinct from the delicately textured carving that defines the sitters wig and frames his fleeting expression, which conveys Miromesnil’s quickness of mind. The taught lines around the Marquis’s mouth, like the slightly parted lips of Madame His, suggest that he is on the verge of speaking, lending lifelike animation to the bust. As a critic commented in 1783, “M. Houdon lacks only the means to make his portraits speak, since in likeness he lacks nothing.” By pushing the expressive possibilities of marble to new heights, Houdon not only communicates the personalities of his subjects, but also allows them to speak across time about the rationality and admiration of the classical past that were central to the Enlightenment.

Houdon_Clodion_07_2000

Installation view of Enlightenment and Beauty: Sculptures by Houdon and Clodion in the Frick’s Portico Gallery with back view of Houdon’s Young Lise in the Guise of Innocence in the foreground. Photo by Michael Bodycomb.

New Book | Adam von Bartsch (1757–1821): Life and Work

Posted in books by Editor on April 11, 2014

Published by Imhof and available from Artbooks.com:

Rudolf Rieger, Adam von Bartsch (1757–1821): Leben und Werk des Wiener Kunsthistorikers und Kupferstechers unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seiner Graphik nach Handzeichnungen (St Petersburg: Imhof, 2013), 1264 pages, 2 volumes with DVD, ISBN: 978-3865687012, 199€ / $325.

9783865687012_katalogAdam von Bartsch gilt als ‘Ahnvater’ der modernen Graphikforschung, formulierte er doch nicht nur grundlegende Überlegungen zur Systematisierung von Druckgraphik, sondern schuf mit seinem 21-bändigen ‘Le Peintre Graveur’ (1803–1821) ein fundamentales Korpuswerk, das bis heute den Ausgangspunkt für die Beschäftigung mit graphischer Kunst von den Anfangen bis ins 18. Jahrhundert darstellt. Kaum bekannt ist hingegen, dass Bartsch auch künstlerisch tätig war und mit einem OEuvre von fast 600 Blatt zu den innovativsten Graphikern seiner Zeit gehörte, dessen herausragende Stellung in der Graphik um 1800 noch nicht dargestellt wurde. Neben Porträts und Illustrationsgraphik widmete er sich vor allem der Reproduktion von Handzeichnungen alter Meister und schuf auf diesem Gebiet zahlreiche Blatter, die teils einzeln, teils als Folgen verlegt wurden.

Der Werkkatalog unterzieht erstmalig alle Arbeiten Bartschs einer Sichtung und Beurteilung. Begleitet wird er von einer biographischen Studie und einer Analyse des graphischen Schaffens sowie einer nach Ländern gegliederten, in dieser Form noch nicht unternommenen Darstellung zur Reproduktionsgraphik nach Zeichnungen im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert, vor deren Hintergrund Bartschs Stellung erst deutlich konturiert werden kann. Neben der Würdigung Bartschs als herausragendem Vertreter eines durch die Aufklärung geprägten neuen Wissenschaftler- und Künstlertypus liefert die Publikation somit einen grundlegenden Beitrag zur Graphikgeschichte jener Zeit im europäischen Kontext.

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Note (added 1 March 2015) — The book is reviewed by F. Carlo Schmid in The Burlington Magazine 157 (February 2015): 108–09.

Call for Papers | SAH in Chicago, 2015

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on April 11, 2014

sah-2015-annual-conference-in-chicago

From the SAH 2015 Call for Papers:

2015 Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference
Chicago, 15–19 April 2015

Proposals due by 6 June 2014

The Society of Architectural Historians is now accepting abstracts for its 68th Annual Conference in Chicago, April 15–19, 2015. Please submit abstracts no later than June 6, 2014, for one of the 32 thematic sessions or for an open session. Sessions have been selected to cover topics across all time periods and architectural styles. SAH encourages submissions from architectural, landscape, and urban historians; museum curators; preservationists; independent scholars; architects; and members of partner organizations.

Thematic sessions are listed below. Open sessions are available for those whose research does not match any of the themed sessions. Instructions and deadlines for submitting to themed sessions and open sessions are the same. Only one abstract per author or co-author may be submitted.

SAH is using an online abstract submission process—please do not send your abstract to the session chair’s email address as this will delay the review of your abstract or possibly void your submission.

Submit Your Abstract Online

View Submission Instructions

Abstract submissions must follow these guidelines:
• Abstracts must be under 300 words
• The title cannot exceed 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation
• Abstracts must follow the Chicago Manual of Style

If submitting to a thematic session, send your CV to the appropriate session chair and the SAH office
at info@sah.org. If submitting to the open session, send your CV to the SAH office only, at info@sah.org. 
Abstracts should define the subject and summarize the argument to be presented in the proposed paper. The content of that paper should be the product of well-documented original research that is primarily analytical and interpretative rather than descriptive in nature. Papers cannot have been previously published or presented in public except to a small, local audience. All abstracts will be held in confidence during the review and selection process, and only the session chair and General Chair will have access to them. 
All session chairs have the prerogative to recommend changes to the abstract in order to ensure it addresses the session theme, and to suggest editorial revisions to a paper in order to make it satisfy session guidelines. It is the responsibility of the session chairs to inform speakers of those guidelines, as well as of the general expectations for participation in the session and the Annual Conference. Session chairs reserve the right to withhold a paper from the program if the author has not complied with those guidelines.

Please note: each speaker is expected to fund his or her own travel and expenses to Chicago. SAH has a limited number of partialfellowships for which Annual Conference speakers may apply. However, SAH’s funding is not sufficient to support the expenses of all speakers. Each speaker and session chair must register and establish membership in SAH for 2015 by August 30, 2014, to show their commitment for the 2015 conference and are required to pay a non-refundable fee equal to that of the conference registration fee.

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A selection of panels that might be relevant for eighteenth-century scholars:

ANCIENTS AND MODERNS: THE UNRAVELING OF ANTIQUITY

The Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns erupted in late seventeenth-century France. Although ostensibly concerned with the relative merits of the literary and cultural achievements of modernity and antiquity, the quarrel was predicated upon more ideologically charged issues, and as such what initially began as a literary quarrel quickly developed into a broader debate that impinged upon an array of subjects including architecture. Indeed, the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns unleashed a discourse pitting the sanctity of antiquity against the exigencies of modernity that would shape views of the architecture of both the past and present throughout the long eighteenth century.

As they grappled with questions of imitation and invention, authority and novelty, progress and perfection, and rules and genius, architects turned to the ruins of antiquity to redefine the architecture of the present. The interpretive space that existed between the ruin and its reconstruction, the fragment and the whole, gave rise to differing and vigorously contested visions of antiquity and its relevance for the modern world. The resulting expansion of knowledge led architects to question the prevailing holistic view of antiquity and the assumptions upon which it was based.

This session seeks to explore how the quarrel’s unraveling of the past influenced architectural theory and practice in the present and to understand it as a pan-European phenomenon. We invite papers that reconsider the quarrel and its architectural legacy over the course of the long eighteenth century (1670–1815) throughout Europe. Papers may address architecture as it relates to a range of issues, including the nature of authority, the possibility of progress, the status of the architect, the role of genius, and the relationship between socio-cultural change and the built environment.

Session chairs: John Pinto, Princeton University pinto@princeton.edu; Daniel McReynolds, Princeton University, dmcreyno@princeton.edu

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ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIES OF DATA

In the so-called digital age, ‘data’ is repeatedly presented as the primary unit of knowledge. Yet we know almost nothing of this epistemic unit’s history. How did we come to imagine data as untethered, immaterial bits of information? Historians of the early modern period have written compelling histories of the modern ‘fact’ by exposing its unexpected ties to preternatural monsters and double-entry bookkeeping. What would equivalent histories of data look like? Architectural historians may be particularly well positioned to excavate histories of data since space is a central paradox in our understanding of this unit: while data needs to be infinitely addressable, we assume that it does not occupy an address in space. The sixteenth- century scholar who decided to record his bibliographies not in bound volumes but on slips of paper so as to be able to rearrange them understood this as well as the contemporary data analyst. Over against the assumption that data is dematerialized information flowing in an imaginary frictionless space, then, this session proposes that data has always had architecture. We invite papers that explore the material infrastructures that gather, store, index, aggregate, and dissimulate data: from cabinets that file paperwork to buildings that house bureaucracies and from graphs and tables that make data visible to data centers and satellites in orbit that push it out of sight. How can these spatial and material histories start sketching an historical ontology of data? What concepts, artifacts, techniques, and institutions have been playing roles in these histories? And, finally, how might historical accounts of data challenge the technological master- narratives on which histories of architectural modernity have been based?

Session chairs: Zeynep Çelik Alexander, University of Toronto, zeynep.celik@utoronto.ca and Lucia Allais, Princeton University, allais@princeton.edu

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EMOTIONAL HISTORIES OF ARCHITECTURE

Louis Sullivan defied his profession’s orthodoxies in a 1894 AIA convention address titled “Emotional Architecture as Compared with Classical.” Deploring the state of contemporary design pedagogy, he argued “how deeply necessary it is that a technical or intellectual training be supplemented by a full, a rich, a chaste development of the emotions.” Sullivan’s unfamiliar antinomies of “emotional” versus “classical” architecture confound us, indeed instructively. An architectural historiography grounded solely in formal, technical and intellectual constructs is poorly equipped to evaluate emotions as evidence. Our discipline’s limitations render Sullivan’s discourse odd and inscrutable.

That situation is changing, thanks to methodological innovations in the burgeoning field of the history of emotions. Reassessing interior states conventionally assumed to be “hardwired” and universal, the field’s pioneers insist upon the historical specificity, contingency, and transience of emotional expressions. Analyzing emotive terms embedded in primary documents, they produce nuanced readings of affect as a social and cultural construct. Concepts including “emotional navigation,” “emotional regimes,” “emotional communities” (characterized by particular “systems of feeling” and “emotional styles”) and “emotional labor” bear close scrutiny by architectural historians. Familiar buildings, newly contextualized by emotive evidence discovered in their corresponding texts, bear unforeseen witness to architectural enterprises and the societies that initiate them.

This session invites papers that serve as case studies in how research methods developed in the field of the history of emotions can inform and broaden architectural history, and which suggest, conversely, how architectural history might offer unique contributions to the history of emotions. Abandoning impressionistic readings of architectural affect, papers in this session will explicitly evaluate methodologies that embed built objects within their emotional context(s). Proposals from scholars of all periods and geographies are welcome.

Session chair: Greg Castillo, University of California, Berkeley; gregcastillo@berkeley.edu

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FROM DRAWING TO BUILDING: REWORKING ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING

It is understood that drawing leads to building. However, the movement from one to the other is neither direct nor determined in advance. It is the presence of this ‘indeterminacy’ that creates a specific locus of research. There is, as Robin Evans (1997) has argued, a constitutive ‘gap’ between drawing and building that demands a revision of architectural history. This ‘gap’ constitutes a site in which the project of the history of architecture can be rethought and the appropriate theoretical dimensions to that rethinking incorporated. For Evans the gap is the general condition of architectural drawing. In sum this session—From Drawing to Building: Reworking Architectural Drawing—will allow for a productive rethinking of the relationship between drawing and building; a relationship that has implications as much in history and theory as it does to architectural pedagogy and contemporary practices of design.

This session will concentrate on those architectural drawings that occur apart from the ones created for what can be described as the legal documentation of the construction processes. In other words, emphasis will be given to those drawings that are used to communicate concepts and meanings central to the discipline of architecture. Furthermore, the session will emphasize interest in the specific techniques and conventions of the perspective and the axonometric as techniques used to convey spatial strategies. Even though tied to specific periods and individual practices, drawings using these techniques represent distinctive disciplinary propositions.

Through these conventions and techniques, image-based representations provide transactional visual environments that are instrumental in the development of architectural knowledge. Such provocations for the discipline are beyond any authorial desire for architecture’s substantiation in building. This session will invite papers from a range of historical periods to open discussion on the functionality of the ‘gap’ between drawings and buildings.

Session chairs: Desley Luscombe, University of Technology Sydney, Desley.luscombe@uts.edu.au and Andrew Benjamin, Monash University Melbourne, andrew.benjamin@monash.edu

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REPLICAS: CONTENTIOUS RECONSTRUCTIONS OF THE PAST

‘Replica’ architectures employ selective ideas of the past to construct the self-image of states, cultures, organizations or powerful individuals in the present, often operating in service of radically conservative ideologies. Frequently promoted through the rhetoric of ‘reconstruction’, these projects are seldom ‘literal’ reconstructions. Rather, they involve the tendentious reclamation of historic architectural or urban forms to reinforce identity narratives, however tenuous or counterfactual their historical veracity. Such projects advance certain political, religious or socio-cultural worldviews or reinforce certain structures of power, preserving distinctions. While architecture has always conveyed ideologies or legitimized a particular social or political order, ‘reconstruction’ projects imagined to embody authority, or which transmit counterfactual histories, sit on the margins of our discipline. Yet they are profoundly interesting as material artifacts. The stories of their life in use are just as interesting as the stories of their procurement and construction. Striking in their own contexts, such “replicas” are often stranger when examined from another cultural, temporal or political vantage point.

The study of replicas is interdisciplinary, implicating architecture as well as philosophy, cultural studies, memory studies and cultural geography. We are interested in papers that examine:
• the intentions and anxieties of their patrons and makers
• the significance of retelling or reorienting stories and myths in the service of dominant or distinctive ideologies
• the shifting relations, incipient contradictions, or unwitting ironies that emerge between originals and replicas, as the latter respond to new programs, contemporary materialities, regulations and techniques of construction
• questions of collective memory, official history and the politics of preservation

Theoretically informed proposals that ground these questions in actual sites and practices from a broad range of geographies and time periods are welcome.

Session chairs: Adam Sharr, Newcastle University, adam.sharr@ncl.ac.uk Zeynep Kezer, Newcastle University, Zeynep.Kezer@ncl.ac.uk

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THE TENT: ONE OF ARCHITECTURE’S MANY GUISES

From the palace and pleasure garden to the military campaign and refugee camp, the tent exemplifies a realm that is ephemeral (although not evanescent), mediatory between the natural and built environments, and, as architecture ‘built’ out of textiles, insistently foregrounding a foundation in craftsmanship. Transformed into icons, tents have also been fixed in palatial and domestic interiors as ‘tent-rooms’ in places as geographically and historically diverse as, for example, the Norman palace in Palermo, Malmaison, and Graceland. Be it as structure, site, or icon, the tent offers a critical lens for investigating architecture’s fluid and yet (often) uneasy co-existence with nature, craft, and ephemerality. To date, the most comprehensive study of tent architecture (indeed, of tents as architecture) has been Peter A. Andrews’ Felt Tents and Pavilions: the Nomadic Tradition and its Interaction with Princely Tentage (1999). Andrews’ volumes not only offer a useful catalog of medieval and early modern tents, but they also draw attention to the ways in which tents instantiate a crucial meeting-point between East and West. This panel seeks to highlight the possibilities of rethinking architectural theory and practice afforded through a careful study of tents. Our session will take a wide angle view of the phenomenon of the tent, both geographically and chronologically, and so papers are invited that treat any place or period. Plausible topics include, but are not limited to, tents as gifts, engineers of alternate realities, markers of hybrid temporalities, textiles, sites of war, and symbols of an irrepressible pre-modernity.

Session chairs: Zirwat Chowdhury, Reed College, zirwat@reed.edu; William Tronzo, University of California, San Diego, wtronzo@yahoo.com

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WATERY NETWORKS

If architecture and cities have long been characterized by fixity, groundedness, and a formative relationship to land, how might a maritime perspective shift our understanding? Following the pioneering work of Fernand Braudel on the Mediterranean, Kurti Chaudhuri on the Indian Ocean, and Paul Lovejoy on the Black Atlantic, historians have not only reinvigorated Mediterranean studies and encouraged the growth of trans- Atlantic studies, they have also begun to identify transnational geographies as similarly fruitful sites for exploration, including the Black Sea, the Swahili Coast, and the Red Sea. This session considers how historic connections across the sea—created through networks of trade, imperial expansion, systems of communication, and/or migrations of people—have facilitated the transmission of ideas about architecture and have shaped buildings and cities across these watery terrains.

We seek papers that explore, either in case studies or more broadly analytic investigations, the possibilities, challenges, and potential pitfalls of thinking architecture from the mid-fifteenth century to the present through an oceanic lens. Although the age of European exploration put many regions into commercial and cultural dialogue, we seek work that opens onto less familiar routes, such as the swansong of Ming exploration or Arab trade across the Indian Ocean. Papers engaging the urban scale are especially encouraged. Our aim is to bring together architectural historians who work on geographically disparate places to consider the methodological ties that bind them. What lessons might be learned about how buildings and cities are shaped by transnational networks built across systems of water and transformed by the movements and complex cultural affiliations of individuals and groups? How do we negotiate the desire for a global outlook with the localized dynamics of particular sites?

Session chairs: Sheila Crane, University of Virginia, scrane@virginia.edu; and Mark Hinchman, Taylors University, Malaysia, MarkAlan.Hinchman@taylors.edu.my

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WHAT CANON? QUESTIONS OF LANDSCAPE HISTORY

A canon of landscape architectural history has emerged just as art and architectural historians have questioned the value and limits of the idea of any canon. Landscape history has expanded in the context of Marxist, feminist, and race-based critiques of established canons in art and architectural history. This critical condition has produced a landscape architectural canon both more inclusive and less defined, one at once more porous and thicker. Crossing disciplinary boundaries, scholars have investigated the complex connections between the fields of landscape architecture and architecture, ecology and environment, resiliency and sustainability, cities and urbanism. A canon of sorts has emerged, though by no means static or clearly grounded in any one approach. This session seeks to explore what the canon defines and what are the manifestations, limits, and potential areas of exposure. The session seeks to consider the role of critique in historical narratives and the development of the canon- where and what is the appropriate critical role? How has critique become an historical tool? Papers that consider landscapes in non-Western cultures would be appropriate, as would alternative views of canonic places. We encourage papers addressing the relationship of architecture and landscape architecture, urban design and planning, environmental design and analysis. Papers might present completed research projects or those still being theorized. We seek papers that suggest alternative views and challenging perspectives that will contribute to the growing body of scholarship in landscape architectural history.

Session chair: Thaisa Way, University of Washington, tway@uw.edu