Exhibition | Pierre-Jean Mariette and the Art of Collecting Drawings

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 2, 2015

Opening next month at The Morgan:

Pierre-Jean Mariette and the Art of Collecting Drawings
The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, 22 January — 1 May 2016

Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, called Il Parmigianino (Parma 1503-1540 Casalmaggiore), Man Standing Beside a Plinth on which He Rests a Book, and a Study of Saint Luke, ca. 1530, Pen and brown ink, brown wash, on paper. Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913) in 1909. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, called Il Parmigianino, Man Standing Beside a Plinth on which He Rests a Book, and a Study of Saint Luke, ca. 1530, Pen and brown ink, brown wash, on paper. Purchased by Pierpont Morgan in 1909 (The Morgan Library & Museum)

Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694–1774) was one of the earliest and most important collectors of drawings, and he played a pivotal role in shaping our modern conception of the artists who created them. The exhibition—the first ever devoted to the collector at a U.S. museum—will highlight the peculiar ways in which Mariette organized and presented his holdings.

In order to enhance the appearance of the drawings and to improve their legibility, Mariette often restored (completing, cleaning, and even dismembering) his sheets. He cut them, integrated them with additions, completed and assembled together fragmentary sheets, and sometimes split double-sided drawings using his extraordinary ability as a paper restorer. Moreover, Mariette provided his drawings with elaborate frame-like blue mounts, which are still highly prized by collectors. Drawings featured in this show include works from the Morgan’s collection as well as sheets from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Princeton University Art Museum. Among the artists represented are such masters as Parmigianino (1503–1540), Annibale Carracci (1560–1609), and Guercino (1591–1666).

This exhibition is a program of the Drawing Institute at the Morgan Library & Museum. Additional support is provided by Lowell Libson, Ltd.

New Book | Noah’s Ark: Essays on Architecture

Posted in books by Editor on December 2, 2015

From The MIT Press:

Hubert Damisch, Noah’s Ark: Essays on Architecture, edited and introduced by Anthony Vidler, translated by Julie Rose (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2016), 392 pages, ISBN: 978-0262528580, $31.

9780262528580Trained as an art historian but viewing architecture from the perspective of a ‘displaced philosopher’, Hubert Damisch in these essays offers a meticulous parsing of language and structure to ‘think architecture in a different key’, as Anthony Vidler puts it in his introduction. Drawn to architecture because it provides ‘an open series of structural models’, Damisch examines the origin of architecture and then its structural development from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. He leads the reader from Jean-François Blondel to Eugène Viollet-le-Duc to Mies van der Rohe to Diller + Scofidio, with stops along the way at the Temple of Jerusalem, Vitruvius’s De Architectura, and the Louvre. In the title essay, Damisch moves easily from Diderot’s Encylopédie to Noah’s Ark (discussing the provisioning, access, floor plan) to the Pan American Building to Le Corbusier to Ground Zero. Noah’s Ark marks the origin of construction, and thus of architecture itself. Diderot’s Encylopédie entry on architecture followed his entry on Noah’s Ark; architecture could only find its way after the Flood.

In these thirteen essays, written over a span of forty years, Damisch takes on other histories and theories of architecture to trace a unique trajectory of architectural structure and thought. The essays are, as Vidler says, ‘a set of exercises’ in thinking about architecture.

Hubert Damisch is Emeritus Professor of the History and Theory of Art at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Over the course of a long and distinguished career, he has held posts at Cornell University, Columbia University, and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, Washington. He is the author of The Origin of Perspective, The Judgment of Paris, Skyline: The Narcissistic City, and A Theory of Cloud: Toward a History of Painting.

Anthony Vidler is Dean and Professor of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, New York. He is the author of Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture (2000), and The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely (1992), both published by The MIT Press, and other books.

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