On 21 September 2017, the third in a series of RIBA commissions will open in the Architecture Gallery. Pablo Bronstein: Conservatism, or The Long Reign of Pseudo-Georgian Architecture anchors around the work of internationally renowned artist Pablo Bronstein, and his exploration of ‘ubiquitous’ neo-Georgian developments as an exemplar of British vernacular.
Pablo Bronstein has created fifty new drawings of buildings constructed during the second half of the twentieth century in an ostensibly neo-Georgian style. These drawings will be framed and displayed alongside rarely-seen historical Georgian and neo-Georgian material. Chosen by the artist from the RIBA’s collections, these archival works situate Bronstein’s drawings in the context of architectural practice through time. Pablo Bronstein has collaborated with architecture practice Apparata(Nicholas Lobo Brennan and Astrid Smitham) to transform the RIBA’s gallery space into a domestic environment in which the objects will be arranged.
Marie Bak Mortensen, Head of Exhibitions, RIBA, said: “We are very excited to announce that a series of new drawings by celebrated artist Pablo Bronstein will be presented in the Architecture Gallery at the RIBA. Bronstein’s work raises timely questions about how we both experience and acknowledge an architectural style that pervades the UK, yet still remains undocumented within the canon of architecture. Revealing long-cherished ideals about social aspiration, urban fabric, identity and representation, his drawings of neo-Georgian developments will perform a lovingly critical dialogue with the historical objects from RIBA’s own architecture collection.”
Pablo Bronstein said: “With this exhibition, I am continuing a personal history of drawing recent buildings, focusing on an architecture so unloved, yet so endemic to Britain. It can be characterised as alluding to the Georgian, and has become a staple of every British landscape; it should be addressed as the most current British vernacular style. Yet its success, and its principal interest to me, is that of its ability to successfully and economically pander to delusions about our past, and to flatter our vanity of wealth and class. It is an architecture perfectly suited to the last thirty years of our history.”
To complement Bronstein’s interpretation, RIBA has commissioned architects Apparata to design a site-specific installation in the entrance to the RIBA’s landmark building. The installation expresses the practice’s belief that classical architecture is a progressive force, associated with leaps in human knowledge, the escape from ignorance and superstition, and the birth of democracy. In this installation Apparata reframes understanding of classical architecture, charting its restrictions and opportunities with contemporary mechanical construction technologies.
Born in 1977, Pablo Bronstein is an Argentinian artist who lives and works in London. His work spans from drawing to choreography and performance; always with a focus on architecture. Bronstein is known for humorous and beautifully executed drawings that reflect his fascination with the aesthetic and social attributes of pre-Modern European design and architecture.
The exhibition is curated by Shumi Bose, Curator (Exhibitions) with assistance from Suzie Pugh, Curator (Collections) and Marie Bak Mortensen, Head of Exhibitions, RIBA. A special RIBA Late event, celebrating the themes and works within the exhibition, will be held on 10 October 2017.
A series of public events including artist and architects’ talks, debates, film screenings, and workshops for families and children will support this programme.
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