Year in Review - It's December so posts here are pretty slim. Soon I'll be adding a post with some of my favorite things -- books, buildings, exhibitions -- from 2017, but ...
Thursday, February 15, 2007
WSJ bashes Libeskind's new Denver Art Museum building
You'll have to trust me on this one because the Wall Street Journal only allows access to articles for paying customers. But today's print edition isn't exactly kind to Daniel Libeskind's American debut, a new Denver Art Museum building. Under the headline, "It Works Depite Libeskind's Best Efforts," critic David Littlejohn calls the new structure a "gravity-defying funhouse" that poses problems for the paintings and sculptures it is supposed to display. The article begins by describing Libeskind's design philosophy: "Mr. Leibskind regards rationalism as one more constricting ideology, and dismisses as nonsense the modernist dictum that 'form follows function.'" As such, Littlejohn argues that Libeskind's tilted trapezoids are more about his expression as an artist than anything else. Without exhibition curator Dan Kohl (who found a way to hang paintings on non-vertical walls), and Arup, the Los Angeles engineering firm who found a way to keep the Sydney Opera House up, Libeskind's imaginative design wouldn't have worked at all, Littlejohn says. He also notes how the museum was forced to place planters and two-by-fours on the floor so visitors don't bump their heads on the disorienting low and slanty ceilings. To get a sense of the Fredric C. Hamilton building (the official name), you may want to check out this interactive website set up by the Denver Art Museum.