27 July 2012

Exhibit Review: Aesthetics/Anesthetics at the Storefront for Art and Architecture

Storefront for Art and Architecture

The Aesthetics/Anesthetics Exhibit has been going on for the past month at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York.  I had the pleasure of stopping by a couple of weeks ago to see the 30 pieces, each by an architect or artist.  For those of you who haven't been to the Storefront for Art and Architecture it is a small, roughly 1000 square foot wedge shaped space that hosts numerous exhibitions related to architecture each year.  The most recent exhibit offers 30 different interpretations of the space you are occupying as you view them.  The works range from graphics showing how the space relates to its larger context of the city, the neighborhood, the block, and the building, to detailed drawings of the space itself.  A majority of the works are two dimensional while a few add some dimension with model like qualities, one jumps out of its frame as a stylized model of the gallery. 

According to the website (storefrontnews.org) the purpose of the exhibit is "to reflect on the performing properties of architectural drawings..."  I think it accomplishes this successfully.  Some of the works are literal in their interpretation of the space, including Revolving Storefront an elegant plan model of the space by Superpool, while others are more abstract like Andres Jaque's Storefront is a Livingroom in the Galaxy!! which is an illustration depicting the power of the storefront as a community resource, and Storefronts New York by VisionArc which is mostly text.  

This diversity forces you to think about the space more completely, not just as the actual space but its full context.  Where the exhibit is its most successful is in the fact that the subject of each drawing is the space you are in.  This gives the viewer the opportunity to observe each drawing and subject at the same time, a rare treat.  Not only does this offer a view into the artists mind and how they see space, context, or purpose, but it brings into focus aspects of the space you weren't aware of as you stand within it.  After visiting the exhibit I felt more tuned into my surrounding, afraid I was missing something right in front of my face.  I encourage you to see the exhibit while it is still open, until July 28, 2012.  If you don't get a chance to make it you can view the exhibit online and each of the pieces is being auctioned to benefit the Storefront. 

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