The Art Institute once again serves as a recycling bin for shows Curator of Architecture and Design Joseph Rosa mounted at his former SFMOMA home.
The exhibition Xefirotarch, which opened Thursday, showcases the high concept digital work of Argentinian architect Hernán Díaz Alonso, who founded the firm in 2001. In the words of the press release:
Díaz Alonso' baroque designs - resembling animal forms, plant structures, or fungal growths - blur the visual and spatial boundaries between surface, decoration, and structure to create an original and distinctly figurative architectural approach.Díaz Alonso worked in the firms of both Enric Miralles and Peter Eisenman.
Díaz Alonso is greatly influenced by much of a broad range of visual practices, including the art of Francis Bacon and Matthew Barney, science fiction films, and digital practices in design, architecture, and art. His aesthetic, always sensual but often grotesque, evolves through a series of conceptually linked projects and experiments, with the ultimate goal of offering not only a spatial experience, as one would expect from architecture, but a temporal experience as well. Thus the resulting work occupies an as-yet undefined domain that lies between the formal demands of architecture and the narrative possibilities of different uses of space.
His passion for complexity makes him a good match for Rosa's infatuation with the theoretical. (Xefirotarch's amazingly complex website has to include instructions for its use.)
Read an extended interview with Díaz Alonso in Archinect here, and the architect in discussion with EMERGENT's Tom Wiscombe in a 2006 Architectural Record podcast here. In a 2001 interview, Díaz Alonso said:
"I think in five years I will still be training for when I become an architect, which is going to be somewhere between 45 and 50, which is really when you become an architect."Which gives him another another seven years in which to play - he doesn't hit 45 until 2014.
Xefirotarch is on display in the Art Institute's Gallery 227, where it runs through October 28th.