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Thom Mayne, Sketch, Exhibition

Challenging the norm: Thom Mayne’s sculptural drawings

Mayne, co-founder of the Southern California Institute of Architects (SCI-Arc), received the Pritzker Prize in 2005 and was a member of Barak Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities from 2009 till 2016. In 1972, he and James Stafford founded the architectural firm Morphosis, which he heads to this day. The architects at the Southern Californian think tank seek to respond to the constantly changing cultural, political and technological conditions of modern life in their experimental designs. They combine various materials and forms in their work to create such striking architectural icons as the New Academic Building for Cooper Union in New York, the Bill and Melinda Gates Hall for Cornell University in Ithaca and last but not least the Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank in Klagenfurt.

This continual challenging of the norm is documented at the exhibition currently on show at the Tchoban Foundation, for which the curators Kristin Feireiss und Elenija Bannan have compiled a selection of Mayne’s personal sketch books, serigraphs as well as hand and sculptural drawings from the years 1979 to 2020. Not only works on paper but also three-dimensional paintings – i.e. combinations of drawings and model known as Drawels – illlustrate the architect’s experiments with form and materiality. The show is rounded off with the visionary composition created by Mayne for the “Berlin – Denkmal oder Denkmodell?” exhibition in 1988.

A catalogue has been published to accompany the exhibition.

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A detailed print documentation is available in our issue DETAIL 10/2020 concerning the topic "Building Envelopes".

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Further articles to the issue DETAIL 10/2020 are available here.

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