Art and architecture have an obvious, if largely unarticulated, relationship. To paraphrase and reverse Ad Reinhardt’s maxim applies: “architecture is something you bump into when you step back to look at a sculpture”. Yet the art world pays little attention to buildings, at least when the conversation ventures beyond a new museum.
But unlike art, much of which lives in warehouses or on private walls, architecture is there to be seen. And the world of architecture, like the world of art, is full of untold stories and unknown works that, unlike most under-recognized art, hide in plain sight.
In March 2020, when the pandemic started and the galleries closed, my wife Dyanne and I got in our car and went on a trip to see the architecture in the field. These journeys began when the gallery’s Instagram account was created in 2015. Now they have become the daily journal of our pandemic life. As traffic was non-existent in the early days of the illness, we traveled far and fast. Destinations were identified and corroborated using Google Street View. Could the building be photographed without intrusion?
Like art, architecture reveals itself in many ways. Since nothing comes from nowhere and nothing is less nowhere than the built environment, anecdotal webs began to weave, with the local emerging as a complex historical document.
Below, a look at how 10 buildings and their architects can reveal the demand for personal relationships, inclusive memory, and community recognition that lives in the architecture and art that surrounds us.