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This exhibition presents two series of commissioned photographs that reflect on the architecture of Marcel Breuer (Hungarian, 1902–1981). The images on view by the artist Luisa Lambri and the photographer Bas Princen use the Bauhaus architect and designer's important public and municipal works to explore the relationship between the built environment and its inhabitants. Evoking minimalism and abstraction, Lambri creates images that examine the dialogue between interior and exterior and, in these works especially, the interaction between surface and light. Princen investigates and reframes urban and rural spaces through documenting the concept of post-occupancy, or the evolution of a building and its enduring relevance.
Their photographs offer two distinct views of how Breuer's monumental modernist buildings, constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, exist today. Saint John's Abbey Church in Collegeville, Minnesota, and the UNESCO headquarters in Paris have been selected for their scale and for their significance to his career. The IBM research center in La Gaude, France, served as the experimental site where sophisticated prefabricated systems for concrete constructions were developed. The fourth building, commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art and now The Met Breuer, was created as a museum for New York and epitomizes the architect's principles. Lambri's and Princen's series give us an opportunity to contemplate the experience of architecture outside the typical framework of the architect's working methods and ideas.