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Andrew Crowson

Autor(a) de Frank Lloyd Wright in Pop-up

9+ Works 233 Membros 3 Críticas


Obras por Andrew Crowson

Frank Lloyd Wright in Pop-up (2002) — Ilustrador — 208 exemplares, 3 críticas
Flip Flap Farm (2001) 7 exemplares
Flip Flap Fairytale (2002) 7 exemplares
Flip Flap Christmas (2003) 3 exemplares
Flip Flap People (2002) 3 exemplares
Flip Flap Spooky (2003) 2 exemplares
Flip Flap Ocean (2001) 1 exemplar
Flip Flap Prehistoric (2003) 1 exemplar
Flip Flap Safari (2003) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Doctor (People Who Help Us) (2009) — Ilustrador — 195 exemplares, 1 crítica
Chef (People Who Help Us) (2009) — Ilustrador, algumas edições113 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

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If I were asked to make nominations for a USAmerican Hall of Fame in the Arts, honoring innovation, influence, and reflection of the American character in the creative arts, the second name I would mention (right after Walt Whitman, for his free-verse poetry) would be Frank Lloyd Wright.

Of course, others in my top ten may have lived more honorable lives and have been less egotistical in their own claims to notoriety, but none — perhaps not even Whitman — was more articulate in discussing principles underlying their contribution. Indeed, Wright’s term for his art would probably come as close as any one term could for the essential USAmerican character of creativity. What he first called “New Architecture,” he eventually described as “organic,” and he would “throughout his life, continually seek the true definition of it until he came upon the simple formula that qualifies a building as ‘organic’ . . . if it is entirely appropriate to its place, to its time, and to its user.”

This term and this definition would not be inappropriate for the work of such other USAmerican creative artists as Whitman himself, jazz masters like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, Frederick Law Olmstead (Central Park landscaping), Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), Thornton Wilder (Our Town), the orators Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Alexander Calder (mobiles), Aaron Copeland and Martha Graham (ballets like Appalachian Spring), L. Frank Baum (children’s fantasy), Charles Ives (symphonic music), Jackson Pollock (abstract expressionism), Alfred Stieglitz (photography), and artists Georgia O’Keefe, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson, and Romare Bearden. All of these, in one way or another, found artistic expression that uses native materials in new and interesting ways, especially appropriate to their eras, their settings, their subjects, and their social/cultural contexts. If USAmerican politicians and statesmen earned a reputation for independence, freedom, and the rights of the individual, these artists' “organic” creations achieved the same kind of emancipation in the arts.

No books can ever do justice to the visual and spatial effects of Wright's structures. I have read and found satisfaction in a magnificent biography of the architect (Many Masks by Brendan Gill), but his work requires a three-dimensional presentation. The paper engineering and artwork of this book — Frank Lloyd Wright in Pop-up by Iain Thompson (PRC Publishing Ltd. of London, c2002) — attempt what is virtually impossible.

You open the large double-page spread and the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago comes barreling off the page like “The Battleship” it is called. Edgar J. Kaufman’s house Fallingwater thrusts its angles from the hills and stone of its surroundings with all the angles and determination of the structure itself. The S. C. Johnson Research Tower rises tall above its setting just as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum spirals sturdily upward and the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church circles above its grounds, covering them with its shade.

I have a small, but interesting collection of pop-up books. None has subject matter more deserving of this format than this one. But the text of the book strives mightily to adapt itself to the ambition of the designs The introduction gives a very brief account of his life and career, concluding, “To Wright, the profession of architect took on enormous responsibilities; he saw the architect as an artist with the power to change people’s lives — he regarded himself almost as a missionary.”

Of the buildings themselves, the author identifies two central characteristics: the unit system, or grid of squares, and the cantilever, “the element that freed the third dimension.” Wright insisted on total control of his houses and their environs, often including even the furniture. He often made use of wide-eaved roofs, massive chimneys, open porches and garden walls, which Brendan Gill saw “running out from the house proper in order to marry it to the ground.” One of his major — and most influential — developments was the concrete block. Though he liked to use natural wood and stone materials, the lines he achieved with concrete blocks reinforced with rods gave him just the flexibility he needed to bring his unit system and cantilevers to life..

The culminating masterpiece of his Prairie House style was Fallingwater in the outback of Pennsylvania. Calling it “perhaps the best known private home for someone not of royal blood in the history of architecture,” the author describes it succinctly but accurately:

“Wright further developed his ‘organic’ philosophy in Fallngwater — an extraordinary cantilevered house in an idyllic setting, it is based on forms borrowed from nature, and the intentions ere clearly romantic, poetic, and intensely personal. This is arguably the closest Wright came to the realization of his romantic vision of man living in total harmony with nature.”

The Kaufman family had often camped near a waterfall on their wildwood estate, and Mr. Kaufman himself had preferred to sunbathe on a large boulder there.

“Rather than move the large boulder on which Kaufman sunbathed, Wright incorporated it into the design so that it served as the ‘cherished’ hearth. . . . The house was boldly cantilevered over [the] waterfall and anchored with a series of reinforced concrete ‘trays’ attached to the masonry wall and natural rock forming the rear of the house. These trays appear to float weightlessly above the valley floor.
“The feeling of nature is achieved internally by carrying the character of the stonework in floors and walls in opposition to the trees that can be seen surrounding the building through the almost uninterrupted glass and wrap around corner windows. The first-floor entry, the living room, and the dining room are integrated to form a continuous space. From the square living room one can step directly down a suspended stairway to the stream below, while the upper floors accommodate the bedrooms, which open onto private terraces. These terraces emphasize the horizontal nature of the structural forms; ‘the apotheosis of the horizontal’ as it has been called.”

The “organic” spiral of the Guggenheim Museum, which was commissioned in 1943 and finished in 1959, six months after the architect's death, is called a “ziggurat.” Wright saw this expanding spiral as symbolic of his “organic process,” for it existed in three dimensions and appeared to defy gravity. The quarter-mile, cantilevered ramp rises seventy-five feet to a glass domed skylight. In his last work, even more than his earliest, Wright maintained the ability to shock and the insistence on creative freedom.

The paper engineering of this book and the repetitive, wooden prose cannot do justice to Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision, but they stimulate the imagination of the reader/viewer. If one has seen and walked within the structures, this book is a simple reminder of the wonder of the work itself. For others the book is a modest testimony to Wright’s “organicism,” and to his innovative practice, his international influence, and his reflection of USAmerican values in his vision.
… (mais)
bfrank | 2 outras críticas | Jan 20, 2008 |
I've been salivating over this book for a while, and finally succumbed. Six of FLW's greatest buildings in pop-up: Robie House, the Ennis-Brown House, Fallingwater, the Johnson Wax Building, the Guggenheim Museum, and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.

Each pop-up is accompanied by the plan of the building and a discussion of its significant features. There are some wonderful photographs as well (I love the aerial shot of Robie House particularly).
lilithcat | 2 outras críticas | Nov 2, 2005 |

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