Inversions: Contemporary Art Inspired by the Architecture of Louis Kahn
Curated by Melinda Wang
October 19 – November 10, 2019
527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, NY (see directions below)
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 19, 6-8pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesdays and Fridays, 6pm-9pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-5pm
Film Night: Friday, November 1, 7-9pm
Dance, Poetry and Processional: Saturday, November 9, 3-5pm
MW Projects is pleased to present Inversions: Contemporary Art Inspired by the Architecture of Louis Kahn, a group exhibition featuring painting, sculpture, photography, film, dance, installation and sound by 24 artists. The exhibition will be on view from October 19 through November 10, with a public opening reception on Saturday, October 19, 6-8pm. The gallery is located on Roosevelt Island, a short walk to Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park, Kahn’s only design in New York City.
The visual artists are: Dara Alter, Richard Bottwin, Graciela Cassel, Tim Gowan, John Greig Jr., Carrie Johnson, Andres Koort, Stephanie Land, Arne Maasik, Jamie Martinez, Marisol Martinez, Gelah Penn, Urmo Raus, Jonathan Rider, Tariku Shiferaw, Sara Silks, Helen & Sandra Sirp, Christopher Stout, Nicholas Szymanski, Margaret Inga Urias, Michael Wolf and Audra Wolowiec. The exhibition also includes a site-specific sound piece by Micah Frank to listen to while walking between the gallery and Four Freedoms Park. The exhibition is organized by MW Projects, with support from the Consulate General of Estonia in New York and the Estonian Ministry of Culture.
Architectural historian William J.R. Curtis wrote, “Kahn’s architecture is full of inversions: masses which suddenly seem weightless, materials which dissolve into immateriality; structures which reverse load and support; rays of light which reveal the realm of shadows; solids which turn out to be voids.” Known for combining Modernism with the weight and dignity of ancient monuments, Kahn used simple shapes and simple materials to design preternaturally beautiful structures that sought to create transcendent experiences. He believed that structure, space and light must always be in harmony, and that it is through the material that we can understand the immaterial and universal.
Taking these concepts as cues, the artists in the exhibition created works that explore the different “inversions” for which Kahn is known. Each work in the exhibition considers the dualities of material and immaterial; logic and intuition; heavy and light; light and shadow; or presence and voids, and how these dualities balance and co-exist.
Inspired by Kahn’s multi-disciplinary approach, the exhibition will include an afternoon of dance and poetry, a film screening and a music listening event. Details for these events will be posted at www.MWProjects.art and on social media channels.
About Louis Kahn
Born in Estonia in 1901, Louis Kahn was one of the most important and influential architects of the second half of the 20th century. His work and writings represent a profound search for the very meaning of architecture. His designs include Four Freedoms Park (New York, NY), the Salk Institute (La Jolla, CA), National Assembly Building (Dhaka, Bangladesh) and Phillips Exeter Academy Library (Exeter, NH).
About MW Projects
MW Projects is a cultural production and art advisory firm dedicated to bringing contemporary art to historic sites, non-traditional venues and liminal spaces. We work with emerging and established artists to transform environments and encourage dialogue about contemporary art and culture. For more information, please visit www.MWProjects.art.
Getting to Roosevelt Island:
By Subway: Take the F train to the Roosevelt Island stop (one stop from Manhattan). Walk north 0.3 miles on W Road.
By Tram: Catch the Tram at 59th Street and 2nd Avenue.
By Ferry: The Astoria route of NYC Ferry will connect you to a landing at the east side of Roosevelt Island.
By Bike: Access Roosevelt Island by bike via the Roosevelt Island Bridge from 36th Street in Queens.
By Bus: The Q102 bus connects Roosevelt Island to Long Island City and Astoria in Queens.
By Car: Access Roosevelt Island by car via the Roosevelt Island Bridge from 36th Street in Queens.
For more on Louis Kahn:
Louis Kahn was born in 1901 in Estonia on an island that is now called Saaremaa. He emigrated to the United States in 1906, settling in Philadelphia, PA. Read about his Estonian roots in this Penn Gazette piece and Heie Treier’s essays.
Recommended Viewing and Reading:
Arne Maasik’s photography: LINK
“From Island To Island: The Creative Journey of Louis Kahn” exhibition at the Center for Architecture and Design, Philadelphia, PA, May 23 - June 11, 2019
Nathaniel Kahn, My Architect: A Son's Journey (2003)