Deconstructivist Architecture, Museum of Modern Art, New York City


Deconstructivist Architecture, Museum of Modern of Art, New York City, 1988

Deconstructivist Architecture was displayed in three galleries at MoMA from June 23 to August 30, 1988, five decades after the influential International Exhibition of Modern Architecture of 1932.

Philip Johnson, architect and former Director of the Department  of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art; in association with Mark Wigley, architect; coordinated by Frederieke Taylor.

DECONSTRUCTIVIST ARCHITECTURE focuses on seven international  architects whose recent work marks the emergence of a new sensibility in architecture. The architects recognize the imperfectibility of the modern world and seek to address, in Johnson’s words, the “pleasures of unease.” Obsessed with diagonals, arcs, and warped planes, they intentionally violate the cubes and right angles of modernism.

Their projects continue the experimentation with structure initiated by the Russian Constructivists, but the goal of perfection of the 1920s 1s subverted. The traditional virtues of harmony, unity, and clarity are displaced by disharmony, fracturing, and mystery.

The exhibition includes drawings, models, and site plans for  recent projects by Coop Himmelblau, Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry,  Zaha Hadld, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, and Bernard  Tschumi (11st of projects attached). Their works are preceded by an Introductory section of Constructivist paintings and sculptures drawn from the Museum’s collection.

Daniel Libeskind’s project for the exhibition was the City Edge Competition for Berlin.

Publication: Deconstructivist Architecture. Introduction by Philip Johnson. Essay by Mark Wigley. Approximately 150 black-and-white illustrations. 104 pages. Published by The Museum of Modern Art