May 5–Jul 3, 2022

Claude Parent

Obliques Narratives No.1
Friday, 3. June 2022 - 18:00
83 Grand Street, New York City NY 10013 Map

Claude Parent (1923–2016) was a visionary French architect known for his work on the Oblique Function, challenging the means by which people live in an orthogonal world. Parent’s theory of the oblique, communicated through his drawings and buildings, has been incredibly influential to generations of architects such as Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, and Reiser + Umemoto. Claude Parent: Oblique Narratives No.1 focuses on the significance of drawing as a means to communicate an idea.

The 44 original graphite works on paper from the Claude Parent Archives in Paris on exhibit at a83 do not represent actual proposals for buildings, but rather offer speculations on the possibility of the oblique at various scales and applications, what Parent called architectural fictions.

Parent was constantly drawing to experiment with and communicate the Oblique Function at multiple scales and applications. The office Claude Parent Architecte closed in the early 2000s but Parent never stopped drawing, producing hundreds of carefully constructed graphite and ink compositions in which he continued to explore and apply the theories of the oblique to cities, territories, and interiors demonstrating the effect of his ramped architecture on the body. In 2010, Frédéric Migayrou and Francis Rambert curated a major retrospective of Parent’s built and drawn work at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine’s inaugural exhibition, introducing the work to a younger generation of architects working primarily with digital drawing techniques. a83’s exhibition of Claude Parent’s drawing practice re-introduces the oblique to NYC in 2022.