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The name Morphosis describes the philosophy of the architectural practice: different materials and techniques are morphed together to form something new. With this idea in mind, Thom Mayne, its founding partner, has since its establishment in 1972 realised projects like the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in Los Angeles, 41 Cooper Square for the Cooper Union in New York, and Bill and Melinda Gates Hall for Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, as well as the Hypo Alpe-Adria Center in Klagenfurt – all of which are architectural icons. Mayne is also the co-founder of the Southern California Institute of Architects (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles, and in that city his dedication to academia and research continues at the Now Institute in L.A. He received the Pritzker Prize in 2005 and served on President Barack Obama’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities from 2009 to 2016.
In the course of his outstanding career, Mayne has challenged the nature of architectural drawing. This exhibition presents only a fraction of Mayne’s tremendous body of work: personal sketchbooks, serigraphs, and hand and so-called sculptural drawings dating from 1979 to 2020. The show encompasses both “traditional” works on paper and two-and-a-half-dimensional drawings titled Drawdels – an invention combining drawing and model, plus 3D paintings, an experiment with form and materiality for which the gradual adaptation of computer-aided programs created new terrain. This selection outlines how Thom Mayne’s interest in transformation and invention changed the formal vocabulary of modern architecture not only in Los Angeles but also abroad.
A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
This exhibition was kindly supported by Schüco, Alutech, Guardian Glass, speech and Tchoban Voss Architekten. Media partner: Bauwelt.