Friday, May 18, 2007

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT



Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural drawings are beautiful abstract designs that compare well with any fine art. At the same time, Wright's work had to comply with the laws of engineering and plumbing. The result is a marvelous blend of art and science.







One reason I often prefer illustration to today's "fine" art is that illustration is more engaged in the world. It is robust and vulgar and dynamic in an era when so much of gallery art is self-indulgent, narcissistic and pallid.





Architecture may be the ultimate example of art that is "engaged in the world." Wright's art required him to wrestle with gravity and structural engineering the way Jacob wrestled with the angel. That struggle grounded his work in the world, giving his drawings an inherent strength, relevance, and ultimately-- legitimacy.



Some of Wright's fine art counterparts who created "art for art's sake" did not need permission to take liberties with form-- they simply took it. They were left with nothing to wrestle with but their press agents and gallery owners, and it shows.

8 Comments:

Blogger Mike Dutton said...

From one collector of quotes to another, here ya go:

There are three types of visual art.
Painting is art you can look at.
Sculpture is art you can walk around.
And architecture is art you can walk through.

-Dan Rice

Another great architect I was just introduced to is Julia Morgan. She did some very beautiful work around the turn of the century. I've only been in one of her buildings, and haven't seen any old plans yet, but I'm already a fan.

Thanks for opening this post up, Dave. :)

5/30/2007 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can get the Candian channel, TVOntario is showing the Ken Burns Frank Lloyd Wright documentary on June 21. At least I think they are.

6/01/2007 2:42 PM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Thanks for the neat quote, Mike. Taking it a step further, there are three types of stakes for quality in the visual arts. If a painter doesn't do his job well, you avert your eyes. If a sculptor doesn't do his job well, you walk on to the next sculpture. If an architect doesn't do his job well, the ground gives way beneath your feet, the "art" falls in on your head and you die. Kind of lends a different significance to "competence" in the visual arts, doesn't it?

6/03/2007 2:57 PM  
Blogger colin said...

It's interesting that you talk about how FLW's abstract designs compare well with any fine art even though "at the same time" they had to comply with various constraints. I had the thought when I first read this post that in many cases the constraints may contribute to the design, rather than act as something that needs to be worked around. Many of nature's creations can also be appreciated as abstract art, and often (I believe) this is because of the mix of chaos and order: some simple rule or process imposes order on a basically chaotic system, and out of that comes abstract beauty.

"Some of Wright's fine art counterparts who created "art for art's sake" did not need permission to take liberties with form-- they simply took it. They were left with nothing to wrestle with but their press agents and gallery owners, and it shows."

Perhaps in some cases it isn't even the wrestling with constraints that improves the art, but the acceptance of them?

6/07/2007 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I managed to get to see both parts of the Frank Lloyd Wright film by Ken Burns (TVOntario split it up into two parts) and it was a fascinating movie. I did not know much about his personal life, he was quite a character, had some very tragic things happen to him and he produced some incredible work.

7/01/2007 12:38 AM  
Blogger Spencer G said...

I'm doing a project on Wright for my Information Design class and I have to say, his illustration abilities are amazing as well as beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

11/28/2007 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If an architect doesn't do his job well, the ground gives way beneath your feet, the "art" falls in on your head and you die."

Recently, I've read that FLW's buildings are distinguished among the great architects' by their unusually high rate of deterioration.

If an architect doesn't do his job well, the people who can't afford not to use his building are going to suffer from it, possibly for lifetimes and generations, in ways that usually pass unrecognised by decision-makers and their critics alike.

I've been raised in one of the most unattractive modern-looking capital cities, and I cannot but think that has contributed to my country's diminishment of fortunes.

* I couldn't find out where I've read that. Maybe some of our readers could confirm or disprove me.

Ivan

5/22/2008 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know this is a long shot, seeing as how the last comment made back in 2007, but would anyone one know what the dimensions of the rendering done of the point view residences are?

12/25/2008 9:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home