Bertrand Goldberg, American (1913-1997). Unicel Plywood Freight Car for the Pressed Steel Car Company, cutaway view, 1949-52. Mixed media on paper. The Art Institute of Chicago, Archive of Bertrand Goldberg, gifted by his children through his estate, RX23664/155.2.
Bertrand Goldberg, American (1913-1997). Pineda Island Recreation Center, Mobile, AL, 1956-60. Crayon and marker on trace. The Art Institute of Chicago, Archive of Bertrand Goldberg, gifted by his children through his estate, RX23664/99.110.
Bertrand Goldberg, American (1913-1997). San Diego Theater, 1967-68. Graphite, ink, and marker on watercolor board. The Art Institute of Chicago, Archive of Bertrand Goldberg, gifted by his children through his estate, RX23664/118.1.
Bertrand Goldberg. American (1913-1997). Standard Houses, c. 1937. Graphite and conte crayon on board. The Art Institute of Chicago, Archive of Bertrand Goldberg, gifted by his children through his estate, RX23664/131.26.
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Modern Wing Galleries 283-285
Architecture of Invention
September 17, 2011-January 15, 2012
Bertrand Goldberg's dramatic sculptural forms and innovative engineering have long been recognized as seminal contributions to the built environment of Chicago, most notably his groundbreaking design for Marina City (1959-1967). Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention, the first comprehensive retrospective of the architect's work, positions Goldberg's career within a broad historical framework that extends from his experimental origins at the Bauhaus to his visionary plans for the postwar American city.
Drawn from the Art Institute's extensive Bertrand Goldberg collection and archives, the Harvard Art Museums, and several private collections, the exhibition features more than 100 original architectural drawings, models, photographs, and little-known examples of his graphic and furniture design. The trajectory of this thematic exploration of Goldberg's work mirrors the changing priorities of American culture at large: his early work with prefabrication and low-cost housing, his projects for middle class leisure culture in the 1950s, his expanded engagement with new cultural programs throughout the 1960s, and then finally his large-scale projects for hospitals and urban planning in his later practice.
Goldberg developed relationships with some of the most prominent modern architects in the United States including Buckminster Fuller, George Fred Keck, and his mentor, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. As his practice increased in scale, Goldberg's alternative urban model for "the city within a city" found a strong following of international architects and critics including Reyner Banham, the Japanese Metabolists, and members of the British Archigram group. A fitting homage to one of Chicago's great builders, this exhibition — designed by John Ronan Architects and Studio Blue — showcases Goldberg's work at its most inventive and progressive, and resonates with the multidisciplinary practices of today's architects and designers.
A companion exhibition, Inside Marina City, features more than 30 images that explore the relationship between Goldberg's rigorous modular framework for the apartment units in that landmark building and the informal development of these interior spaces by residents throughout its history. Architect Iker Gil and photographer Andreas Larsson's project focuses on the residents of the building and the highly personal living spaces that make it an energetic and diverse community.
Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention is accompanied by a handsome, fully illustrated, 192-page catalogue designed by Studio Blue. The book, edited by Zoë Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, features 140 color and 75 black-and-white illustrations, plus insightful essays written by Zoë Ryan; Alison Fisher, the Harold and Margot Schiff Assistant Curator of Architecture at the Art Institute; Elizabeth Smith, executive director of curatorial affairs at the Art Gallery of Ontario; and Sarah Whiting, dean of the Rice University School of Architecture. The catalogue, published by the Art Institute and distributed by Yale University Press, will be available beginning October 3, 2011, at the Art Institute's Museum Shop for $60.
Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention and its publication are made possible by the generous support of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Albert Pick, Jr. Fund, the Architecture and Design Society at the Art Institute of Chicago, and by anonymous donations. Additional support is provided by the Exhibitions Trust: Goldman Sachs, Kenneth and Anne Griffin, Thomas and Margot Pritzker, the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation, Donna and Howard Stone, and Melinda and Paul Sullivan. Inside Marina City is made possible by the generous support of the Architecture & Design Society. Additional sponsorship provided by The Print Lab.
Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is curated by Zoë Ryan, Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Alison Fisher, the Harold and Margot Schiff Assistant Curator of Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago.