I bought this book to understand some of contemporary architects
(Rogers/Foster/Piano & Hadid/D+S+R/Herzog dM/Nouvel)in relation to
key minimalist artists (Serra/Judd/Flavin/Turrell). I guess I wanted to
learn the similarities and differences of them.
This book is more serious and informative than what I had imagined.
The author, who has a full grip of Modernism and Minimalism, begins with
the Global Architects (Rogers/Foster/Piano) and moves through
Art-Oriented Architects (Hadid/D+S+R/Herzog dM/Nouvel).
He points out both positive and negative sides. But ultimately, his
position is socio-critical, critiquing that the current "Global"
and "Minimal" are both somewhat iconic and imagistic architecture
that inflects the original mission of Modernism and Minimalism.
The author also introduces Dia Beacon and MOMA, as places for
minimal art (Dia) and neo-minimal (this term is my reading of the book) art (MOMA).
In Dia, he talks about how the art of minimalism has changed various conditions of the
art, the viewer, and the art institution. This positive position somewhat bends
as he talks about MOMA's recent expansion. Architectural minimalism here,
though executed with high-level of technlogy and design commitment, to the
critic, it is a super-financing of the look of the minimalism; that is socio-politically
In the third section, the author introduces many artists in
sculpture, film, and painting. (Personally, this part is awesome..)
Writings on the experiments of Richard Serra, Donald Judd, Anthony Mccall, and James Turrell etc
is extremely informative. Particularly, most energy is paid to Serra.
Author's preeminent artwork (architecture included) is Richard Serra's.
Serra's works are, to the author,"embodiment" rather than "imagistic",
thereby making a subject to be reflexive about the conditions of living by experiencing the art.
It seems, mission of the book is to critically survey art-bent architecture in relation to
architecture-bent art in the contemporary society. The book is disturbingly intellectual
executing this job. Yet, I still have a doubt. The perspective of the author is bound to
Serra-solution, or more correctly, critical theory bound solution, leaving less room
to "performative" or "capitalistic". Was it right to measure the "performative" based
on the ruler of "criticality" remains to be asked.
Still, best book of 2012 on the critical review of art-architecture !!