Harry Seidler: Painting Toward Architecture

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HARRY SEIDLER

Harry Seidler (25 June 1923 Vienna - 9 March 2006 Sydney) was the first architect to fully express Bauhaus principles in Australia, exemplified by his first project, which was built in 1950 for his parents—the Rose Seidler House in Wahroonga, north of Sydney. All his life, he was, in his own words, “the torchbearer of modern architecture”—a sincere missionary for the cause of modernism. Seidler left a distinct mark on our world, most noticeably with his Australian Embassy in Paris, Hong Kong Club in Central Hong Kong, Wohnpark Neue Donaularge residential community in Vienna, and, above all, through his many characteristic towers, which essentially define the skyline of contemporary Sydney.

In September 1948, Seidler established a practice in Sydney. The ambitious twenty-five-year-old’s tiny studio/apartment featured a prominently displayed statement: “Australia’s present day building practices are outdated. They cry out for rejuvenation. It is the policy of this office to create new standards which will produce a progressive contemporary architecture.” The architect’s prolific career to follow, spanning almost sixty years, proved him right. Seidler’s late work, however free and sculptural, is never arbitrary. His majestic forms were perpetually defined by rational planning, efficiency of standardized construction, and social and environmental considerations.

VLADIMIR BELOGOLOVSKY

Vladimir Belogolovsky, founder of the New York-based Intercontinental Curatorial Project, organizes, curates, and designs architectural exhibitions worldwide. Trained as an architect at Cooper Union, he is the American correspondent for the Russian architectural journal TATLIN and has authored several books, including Felix Novikov, Green House, and Soviet Modernism: 1955-1985. His exhibitions include: Chess Game at the Russian Pavilion at the 11th Architecture Venice Biennale (2008), a retrospective of architect Ángel Fernández Alba at the Royal Botanical Gardens (Madrid, 2009), Green House (Moscow, 2009), and American Institute of Architects Today (Moscow, 2010). He is currently working on a book, Harry Seidler (Massimo Vignelli and Rizzoli, 2014) with foreword by Kenneth Frampton, introduction by Chris Abel, and tribute by Norman Foster. He is curating a Harry Seidler traveling exhibition to go to Tallinn, Riga, Paris, Houston, North Carolina, Washington DC, and Sydney from 2012 to 2014.
 

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