Solo exhibition / The Glass House / New Canaan / 2O22
This exhibition is directly connected to the site, considering its history, its collections, and its former occupants. The works in the exhibition activate multiple locations at The Glass House: the Sculpture Gallery (1970), Da Monsta (1995), the Glass House’s main glass structure (1949), and the landscape itself, as a dialogue with the central core of the property. Much of the presented work is receiving its international premiere at The Glass House. The exhibition title Playdate refers to Philip Johnson’s commitment to design as well as the architect’s signature wit.
Five works of the series OMG-GMO are installed in the Glass House itself as a dialogue with its original collection of Bauhaus furniture. A reference to genetically modified food, OMG-GMO’s works appear to be constructed from fruits and vegetables and underscore the critical relationship between nature and design; The Glass House acts as a metaphorical greenhouse for these seemingly incongruous, yet carefully crafted designs.
The Sculpture Gallery hosts Richard, an installation which playfully addresses Johnson’s concept of “safe danger.” Johnson was known for integrating a sense of titillation within his architecture—at the Sculpture Gallery its glass ceiling and central, rail-less stairway are examples of this. Here nearly a dozen painted bowling balls which clearly indicate movement are placed in the space. These spheres combine the utilitarian with the artistic in an environment filled with precious works by major figures of postwar 20th-century American art, from Frank Stella to Michael Heizer. In a nod to Richard Artschwager’s Yes/No, which employed bowling balls inscribed with “YES” and “NO” to be distributed on a gallery floor. Richard is made with today’s bowling balls which - being anything but black - are a perfect mirror of contemporary pop culture. Artschwager’s textual Yes/No is replaced by progressively blackening out the various ball’s colorful patterns.
In Da Monsta, the last building constructed by Johnson on site, Soft Screen, a light which’ strong graphical look contrasts with the building’s form which Johnson called the “structured warp". Also on display is the New Paintings #1 table.
Outdoors, several pieces from the Ditto collection, sit on the hillside across from the Glass House to present both a focal point from and to that grouping in direct visual communication with the Glass House’s main structure. This grouping of Ditto makes a statement about the absence of Philip Johnson and David Whitney from the property they spent decades designing together.
The Glass House, National Trust for Historic Preservation
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