New exhibition explores intersection of architecture and visual arts

Reframing Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous statement “Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles,” a new exhibition opening at the Yale School of Architecture on Aug. 28 demonstrates the connections between architecture and other visual arts in Los Angeles during the 1970s.

“Everything Loose Will Land: 1970s Art and Architecture in Los Angeles,” curated by Sylvia Lavin, is organized around the three primary means by which architecture found itself in unprecedented — if, at times, inadvertent — contact with other artistic practices: overlaps in their working methods (explored in a section titled “Procedures”), the conversion of their respective viewers and clients into users (“Users”), and their response to the collapse of utopianism under the weight of social and ecological conflict (“Environments”).

Since broad historical forces shaped each of the three categories, they resonate with developments elsewhere — yet the specific ways they unfolded in Los Angeles were also informed by particular features of the city, according to the exhibit organizers.

Artists whose projects wll be on view include Carl Andre, Ed Moses, Peter Alexander, Michael Asher, James Turell, Maria Nordman, Robert Irwin, Frank Gehry, Richard Serra, Coy Howard, Craig Elwood, Peter Pearce, Morphosis, Bruce Nauman, Craig Hodgetts, Jeff Raskin, Ed Ruscha, Judy Chicago, Feminist Studio Workshop, Miriam Shapiro, Alison Knowles, Robert Kennard, Leonard Koren, Studio Works, Noah Purifoy, Paolo Soleri, Ray Kappe, Denise Scott Brown, Archigram, L.A.  Fine Arts Squad, Bernard Tschumi, Eleanor Antin, Peter Kamnitzer, Cesar Pelli, Andrew Holmes, Elizabeth Orr, and others.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Lavin will deliver the Brendan Gill Lecture titled, “Architecture That Is Near and Architecture That Is Far.” The lecture will take place on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Hastings Hall, 180 York St. The event is free and open to the public. Lavin is a curator of architecture and design, as well as the author of several books, including her most recent work, “Kissing Architecture,” published in 2011, and her forthcoming book, “The Flash in the Pan and Other Forms of Architectural Contemporaneity.”

Lavin is currently a visiting professor at Princeton University and director of the Critical Studies M.A. and Ph.D. program in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California–Los Angeles. In 2011, Lavin received the Arts and Letters Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

“Everything Loose Will Land” is on view from Aug. 28 through Nov. 9 at the School of Architecture Gallery, located on the second floor of Paul Rudoph Hall, 180 York St. The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Visit the website ( for more information.

“Everything Loose Will Land” was organized by the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, at the Schindler House, and is sponsored in part by a grant from the Getty Foundation. The installation at Yale is sponsored in part by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and by Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown. 

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