This exhibition features three paintings and three architectural projects:
The Chapel of the Mosquitoes
Dutchess County, New York, 2015
The French Cultural Center Damascus
The Miller House
Lexington, Kentucky, 1991
The French Cultural Center in Damascus is conceived of as a continuous interior surface. It is enclosed, continuous interiority relating in part to the formal complexity of Le Corbusier’s Villa La Roche, and in part to a new architectural typology, a “Moebiusian” one. While the Miller House deals with the “explosion of the cube,” its spatial structure is reminiscent of Theo van Doesburg’s diagrams. Every one of its fragments is a building by itself, autonomous yet interrelated to the others. Damascus and Miller House constitute two opposite spatial investigations whose formal conflicting approaches are synthesized in the Chapel of the Mosquitoes. The Chapel becomes a contraction of these two projects, and at the same time, possesses attributes of both. In the Chapel, the light-water diagonal conduit that pierces the roof and floor is a an interpretation of the ladder in a kiva – a traditional round Pueblo Indian religious chamber – in which the ladder joins sky and earth. There is no real sipapu, the round hole in the kiva’s floor through which the spirits of the ancients can exude. However, in the Chapel, the ground is visible and the floor sometimes retracts; it practically enters inside, or reciprocally, the floor extends and reaches the outside. Its presence reminds us, together with the light and the rainwater descending from the sky, of being humans on earth, and that for us, there is only ONE EARTH.
21c Museum Hotel Lexington is proud to host this exhibition in collaboration with the University of Kentucky College of Design. Exhibition made possible by a gift from the Steven Myron Holl Foundation in Rhinebeck with the support of the Knowlton School of Architecture Columbus and Frost Engineering.
About the Architect
A protégé of Le Corbusier, José Oubrerie is professor emeritus at Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University. He was dean at the University of Kentucky College of Design, formerly College of Architecture, from 1987-1991, where he was also a professor of architecture. Long celebrated for his contributions to architectural education, Oubrerie has also taught at the Cooper Union, Columbia University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. This fall he returns to Lexington and the University of Kentucky as a visiting professor in the College of Design.