Richard Barnes: Obscured Modernism the Glass House Revealed
Richard Barnes | Obscured Modernism: The Glass House Revealed
March 13 - 27, 2021
350 Dundas Street West, Toronto
"The Glass House is to modern architecture what the Mona Lisa is to painting, being one of the most overexposed and iconic expressions of its type, generating a cultural significance and cult-like status that persists today.”
Never before exhibited, Bau-Xi Photo is pleased to present a selection of Richard Barnes’s 2014 photographs of the Philip Johnson Glass House. Deftly shot in New Canaan, Connecticut, this series captures the interaction between Philip Johnson's iconic architectural masterpiece and Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya's encompassing fog installation, Veil.
In 2014, Barnes was commissioned by former Glass House director and chief curator, Henry Urbach, to document Nakaya’s installation. Fully immersing himself in the project, Barnes visited the active installation its 6 month long run. The resulting photographs capture the the Glass House compound like never before, and are a dramatic shift from the artist’s forensic documentation of Ted Kaczynski’s, the Unabomber’s, cabin.
Designed between 1945 and 1948, the Glass House is one structure within the residential compound comprised of several structures. It was the Glass House that introduced the International style to residential architecture—a style that is continuously interpreted in residential architecture today. Along with his contemporaries, Johnson championed Modern architecture throughout North America.
During its life, the Glass House had somewhat of a revolving door when it came to the artists and friends that would visit Johnson at the property. Isaiah Berlin, Shimon Peres, Barbara Walters, Kitty Carlisle Hart, and Andy Warhol were all hosted by Johnson, creating what can be described as one of the greatest salons of the 20th century.
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