Fall arts picks: Architecture
This fall the architecture world will whipsaw between past and present, looking back at postwar Southern California (thanks to Pacific Standard Time) and the postmodern movement even as a batch of new museums get ready to open.
It is a group of seasonal offerings that reflect the state of the profession, to be sure. Credit remains tight for commercial and civic projects, for the most part, which means that there is plenty of time for retrospective analysis — and that completed buildings continue to get outsize attention.
So do proposed ones with any sort of momentum: Farmers Field, the planned football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, is a case in point.
Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy and the Heart of American Modernist Architecture and Design, Sept. 28-Jan. 8, 2012
As part of Pacific Standard Time, the MAK Center in West Hollywood mounts an overdue tribute to McCoy, the architecture critic and historian who helped define California modernism for a broad audience.
MAK Center at the Schindler House, 835 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood. www.makcenter.org
West Hollywood Public Library, Oct. 1
The Los Angeles architects MDA Johnson Favaro open their most prominent project to date, an ambitious new library in the shadow of Cesar Pelli’s Pacific Design Center. Featuring large-scale public art by Shepard Fairey and others. 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. www.weho.org
OMA/Progress, Oct. 6–Feb. 19, 2012
A major exhibition in London charts the career and influence of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the firm co-founded by Rem Koolhaas in 1975. The show is curated by Rotor, a talented young Belgian design collective. Barbican Art Gallery, London. www.barbican.org.uk
Imperfect Health, Oct. 25–April 1, 2012
Canada’s leading museum of architecture and design examines the links between urban design and public health, searching for ways that architects can help tackle obesity, asthma and other ailments.
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. www.cca.qc.ca
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Nov. 11
Alice Walton, an heir to the Wal-Mart fortune, opens a major showcase for her collection of American art in the company’s hometown of Bentonville, Ark. The 201,000-square-foot museum, by the suddenly quite prolific Boston architect Moshe Safdie, is made up of a series of wings spanning a ravine and grouped around a pair of ponds. ww.crystalbridges.org
Reconsidering Postmodernism, Nov. 11-12
Heavy hitters of the po-mo movement — including Michael Graves, Leon Krier and Robert A.M. Stern — gather in New York for a two-day look back.
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave., New York. (212) 730-9646, Ext. 104.
Photo: The 1991 Villa Dall'Ava outside Paris by Rem Koolhaas and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture will be part of the Barbican exhibition "OMA/Progress." Credit: Hans Werlemann.