Exhibit Explores Brutalism, Paul Rudolph


"The Westport Arts Center will present Aggregate: Art and Architecture – a Brutalist Remix, Friday, September 25 through Sunday, November 22. WAC will host a public opening reception on Friday, September 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the gallery, 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, Connecticut. Exhibition programming includes a talk on the spirit of Brutalism by architect John Johansen at Westport Arts Center on Sunday, October 4 at 4:00 pm. Curator Terri C. Smith will also give an informal talk about the exhibition on Thursday, October 22 at 7:00 pm.

Aggregate is a new contemporary art exhibition designed to encourage fresh conversations about the impact of Brutalist architecture on society. The show features sculptures, videos, photography, prints, and documents that reflect, evaluate, and expand upon Brutalism’s monumental forms, social goals, gutsy materials, and mixed receptions. Brutalist architects aspired, in part, to create buildings that conveyed the visual immediacy of sculpture and were often designed to surprise, uplift, and challenge their users. The exhibition explores aspects of the theories, failures, materiality (especially concrete) found in Brutalist architecture by including artists who remix these qualities in ways that complicate or comment on them. Aggregate, through a combination of artworks and documents, asks visitors to look at the nuances of this, sometimes polarizing, twentieth-century architectural style.

[New Curator] Smith became aware of the region’s rich, historic connections to Brutalism, especially the teaching and designs of architects such as Paul Rudolph, Louis Kahn, and John Johansen, all of whom had stints at Yale."

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