Art et Architecture

      
Vito Acconci
5th Ave Give & Take, 
1999

      
Guillermo Kuitca
Cuarta Pared, 1997
      
Tom Slaughter and 
John Giorno 
Everyone is a Complete Disappointment, 
1991

ESSAY BY STEPHEN KNOWLES, AIA

When this collection of artists and architects was introduced to me, I was pleased with the diversity. Their unique voices enticed me to dig deeper into the curated body of work presented.  My first inclination was to refer to experiences from lectures or text about art and architecture. This long-standing relationship has been discussed, judged and defined over and over. But these discussions seemed less relevant here and I wanted to know more about these sixteen individuals and their timeless contribution. They had acted uniquely, consistently, and decisively to mark their lives.

These individuals pushed against the traditions of their time. Each endeavored to bring about visions that respected the context in which they lived. Yet each acknowledged that their life needed to be the spirit of their individuality. They removed themselves from the judgment associated with past ideas. Three voices included in this collection of artists and architects Gray, Fuller, and Vasarely were members of the 20th century avant-garde. In their time they shaped our world and made major contributions to the world of modern design and sculpture.

This body of work challenges contemporary pressures to quickly categorize and move like drones through a daily routine. Our contemporary mindset has lost patience with engagement. Yet, this group rejects the cycle of mediocrity and stagnation. If we take the time, and learn from these artists and architects, we may find a fluency in our own lives.