In this special section, we look at many and various points where art and architecture overlap—but not without some friction. What follows is a short history of artists as architecture’s antagonists, a survey of new architectural projects in the service of art, and a look at the practices of contemporary artists and designers who borrow the tools and concepts of each others’ disciplines.
This past spring, the sculptor Richard Serra was honored with the President's Medal from the venerable Architectural League of New York, which cited his evolution as an artist from the “concerns of matter and materiality to more spatial preoccupations.”
Last month the Clark completed a $145 million campus expansion on its 140-acre site in the Berkshire mountains of Massachsetts. Included is a new visitor center by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates and a renovation of the existing museum by Selldorf Architects.
Annabelle Selldorf was an obvious choice to renovate the venerated museum of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, home to a stellar collection of European and American paintings.
Stand on the corner of South Spring Street and East Hyman Avenue in downtown Aspen, Colorado, and you see two entrances to Shigeru Ban’s box-like Aspen Art Museum, his first completed project in the United States since winning the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize. To your right is the main entrance, a recessed section in the building’s striking woven-lattice exterior.
Delfina Entrecanales is an unusual cultural philanthropist, her Delfina Foundation in London is an unusual place, and the architectural concept underlying it was born of an unusual international collaboration.
It looked like a graduation. On a Saturday afternoon, a crowd of people gathered around a small stage set up on the lawn in front of the Martin van Buren School, a sturdy Colonial Revival building in Kinderhook, New York. But rather than students in caps and gowns, a small parade of people beating out pseudo-African rhythms on hand drums proceeded up onto the stage.
The artist toiling in solitude has long been a romantic ideal. But it rarely holds in reality, especially for those who work at the civic scale, making pieces that straddle the blurry boundary between art and architecture. These artists rarely work alone, typically relying on a host of collaborators to realize their visions, including studio assistants, fabricators, and even city officials.
For Andrés Jaque’s Office for Political Innovation, architecture is the social as well as physical infrastructure of society. Founded in 2003 by Jaque, the Madrid-based practice has employed a mix of architects, engineers, sociologists, interactive multimedia designers, and even anthropologists and marketing consultants in its various projects.
Katrín Sigurdardóttir was born in Reykjavik and moved to the United States in 1988 to attend the San Francisco Art Institute. The artist now splits her time between studios in Long Island City, New York, and Iceland. As it is in her life, a kind of diasporic mobility is a key theme in Sigurdardóttir’s work.