Once mighty, often fortress-like structures clad in the accentuated and raw beauty of exposed concrete, more and more examples of the once praised Brutalist movement have fallen out of favor with the general public and had their lifespans cut much shorter than initially anticipated.
A new photography exhibition opening at pinkcomma gallery in Boston today documents these fragile moments of demise of iconic buildings like the Prentice Women's Hospital by Bertrand Goldberg, Paul Rudolph's Orange County Government Center, or Robin Hood Gardens in London.
Following is the exhibition's description:
"'Monstrosity' appears to be a favorite word for those who wish to bully and belittle architecture into obscurity and, in the more alarming cases, onto a demolition list. We need not look hard to remind ourselves that the term has been used by previous generations to describe Victorian architecture, French Second Empire buildings, and many other styles seen as outmoded within a half-generation of their heyday. Our contempt for the destruction that followed should give us pause in today’s rush to judge the concrete buildings of the mid-twentieth century as unsightly or alien."
"Curated by Chris Grimley of over,under, Brutal Destruction features a collection of photographs by Matthew Carbone, Harlan Erskine, Jason Hood, Rey Lopez, David Schalliol, David Torke, and Oliver Wainwright. These haunting images of buildings in the process of destruction show an architecture once praised, yet now at its most vulnerable a half-century or so after its completion, and vilified to the point of demolition. Suspended between life and death, these buildings remind us of the power that architecture can possess upon its inception, but also of the forces that conspire against it once it is judged to have become old, out-of-shape, obsolete, or ugly."
"If there is a lesson in seeing concrete masterworks disfigured and demolished, we do not believe it lies in exposing or punishing the hubris of the generation that created them. Rather, the current wave of destruction says more about our own pessimism, the weakness of our potential building legacy, and our lack of patience in finding ways to supersede the cycle of ugliness and make these monstrosities our own."
"Brutal Destruction is part of the ongoing Heroic Project, which also includes the book Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston (The Monacelli Press, 2015), and the Brutalist Boston Map (Blue Crow Media, 2017)."
Brutal Destruction opens today, April 12, from 6-9 pm and runs through May 3. The pinkcomma gallery team comprised Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and Mark Pasnik. Curatorial Assistant is Shannon McLean and Anna Driscoll is the Exhibit Assistant.
Comment as :