galerie frank elbaz

William Leavitt

Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth

February 16 - July 1, 2017

Graham Foundation, Chicago, IL, USA

William Leavitt Graham Foundation Chicago
William Leavitt, SwingerBoxSled, 2015, Acrylic paint on paper, 56 x 76 cm / 22 x 30 in. 
Photo: RCH | EKH

Inspired by the recent proliferation of digital collage in architectural representation, architects, artists, and a dramaturge were asked to engage the overlaps between graphic collage and theatrical scenery and examine the ways that they employ two-dimensional surfaces to evoke architectural environments. Drawing on Aldo Rossi’s Little Scientific Theater (1978) and other historical precedents—including nineteenth century toy theaters and David Hockney’s design for The Magic Flute (1977) — the invitation to participate challenged contributors to explore the complex interaction between pictorial representation and three-dimensional composition through the lens of these theatrical apparatuses. In response to this provocation, participants offered up all manner of responses that intertwined their own personal interests and modes of working with the curatorial inquiry; some contributed in the form of miniature stage sets, while others commented on historical sources, produced time-based pieces to evoke the narrative aspect of the theater, or made site-specific works for the Madlener House. When the eighteen commissioned works for this exhibition are placed alongside contemporary and historical references informing the project, the space of the Graham Foundation is transformed into a double stage: a staging of mise-en-scénes. As Rafael Moneo once suggested, referencing Rossi’s toy-like theater, it is “only the fiction of theater that allows us to understand reality.” 

The exhibition features work by Emilio Ambasz, baukuh, Pablo Bronstein, Gerardo Caballero, fala atelier, Marcelo Ferraz, Sam Jacob Studio, William Leavitt, Johnston Marklee, Charles Moore, Monadnock, MOS Architects, Norman Kelley, OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Jorge Palinhos, Pezo Von Ellrichshausen, Cecilia Puga, Aldo Rossi, TALLER |Mauricio Rocha + GabrielaCarrillo|, Silke Otto-Knapp, Gabriel Sierra, and Batia Suter.