pinkcomma gallery is proud to present Brutal Destruction, photographs of concrete architecture at the moment of its demise. The exhibit is curated by Chris Grimley.
Once mighty, often fortress-like structures clad in the accentuated and raw beauty of exposed concrete, more and more examples of the once praised Brutalist movement have fallen out of favor with the general public and had their lifespans cut much shorter than initially anticipated.
A new photography exhibition opening at pinkcomma gallery in Boston, USA, today documents these fragile moments of iconic buildings like the Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago by Bertrand Goldberg, Robin Hood Gardens by Alison + Peter Smithson, in London or Paul Rudolph's Orange County Government Center.
Brutal Destruction is curated by Chris Grimley of Boston-based architecture firm.
"'Monstrosity' appears to be a favorite word for those who wish to bully and belittle architecture into obscurity and, in the more alarming cases, onto a demolition list. We need not look hard to remind ourselves that the term has been used by previous generations to describe Victorian architecture, French Second Empire buildings, and many other styles seen as outmoded within a half-generation of their heyday. Our contempt for the destruction that followed should give us pause in today’s rush to judge the concrete buildings of the mid-twentieth century as unsightly or alien.
Curated by Chris Grimley of over,under, Brutal Destruction features a collection of photographs by Matthew Carbone, Harlan Erskine, Jason Hood, Rey Lopez, David Schalliol, David Torke, and Oliver Wainwright. These haunting images of buildings in the process of destruction show an architecture once praised, yet now at its most vulnerable a half-century or so after its completion, and vilified to the point of demolition. Suspended between life and death, these buildings remind us of the power that architecture can possess upon its inception, but also of the forces that conspire against it once it is judged to have become old, out-of-shape, obsolete, or ugly.
If there is a lesson in seeing concrete masterworks disfigured and demolished, we do not believe it lies in exposing or punishing the hubris of the generation that created them. Rather, the current wave of destruction says more about our own pessimism, the weakness of our potential building legacy, and our lack of patience in finding ways to supersede the cycle of ugliness and make these monstrosities our own."
Matthew Carbone.- Mechanic Theatre, Baltimore, MD
Harlan Erskine.- Orange County Government Center, Goshen, NY
Jason Hood.- Birmingham Public Library, UK
Rey Lopez.- Third Church of Christ, Washington, D.C.
David Schalliol.- Prentice Women's Hospital, Chicago, IL
David Torke.- Shoreline Apartments, Buffalo, NY
Oliver Wainwright.- Robin Hood Gardens, UK