The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT is worth visiting anytime, but those interested in sort of the "back end" of modern architecture might make a point of visiting the show called "Painting the Glass House" when it opens March 9th.
There is a good description of the exhibition at e-flux, although it contains a sentence picked up from the Aldrich's own description which I stumble over no matter how I try to understand it: 'The artists featured in the exhibition are interested not only in the potential of utopian ideas, but also the sense of a passing idealism that modern architecture now embodies'. Wha?
Works of 16 artists will be shown. One of the curators, Jessica Hough says, “The artists are less interested in the built structures themselves and what it might feel like to be inside one, and more interested in the philosophy and idealism they represent. The way in which the buildings signal a possibility of utopia is essential—a future that could have been. Sentimentality runs through much of the work.”
The other curator, Mónica Ramírez-Montagut adds, “This melancholic remembrance comes at a time when great works of modern architecture are at risk due to neglect, deterioration, and demolition. Underlying all the artworks is a feeling of deep admiration for the architects who sought to elevate culture and bring it to the broad masses, yet their sense of failure is also prevalent; the artists’ knowledge of modern architecture’s crisis and demise tints their works with some kind of nostalgia.”
Not sure how this works, but portions of the exhibition will be shown concurrently at Yale University's Art + Architecture Gallery (where it opened February 11) to May 9, when it closes at Yale. Following its closing at the Ridgefield Museum on July 27, the exhibition will travel to Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, CA, where it will be on view from January 14 to March 22, 2009. A book related to the exhibition is being co-published by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Mills College Art Museum and Yale University Press.
There's a reception on Sunday, March 9, 2008, from 3 to 5 pm and a panel discussion: Painting the Glass House: Artists Revisit Modern Architecture, with curators Jessica Hough and Mónica Ramírez-Montagut, and artists Daniel Arsham, Angela Dufresne, and Terence Gower at 2pm. The reception is free for members but there's a $7 admission charge for the rest of us.