Esherick House 1959–1961 Estimate: $2–3 million It was a house for one. Margaret Esherick, niece of the Philadephia sculptor Wharton Esherick, commissioned her house from Louis Kahn in 1959. He designed a two-story structure with a simple plan: two symmetrical rectangles, one dedicated to a double-height living room, the other containing a bedroom, one and a half bathrooms, a dining room, and a kitchen designed by Uncle Wharton. All remain intact today, and it all could be yours. The house went up for auction May 18.
The house is one of only nine residential projects by Kahn that were actually built, and one of three that are considered his best (the Fisher House and Korman House being the others). Geometry, light, and materiality (concrete, teak wood, glass) characterize the design. According to Joseph Rosa, Kahn scholar and curator at The Art Institute of Chicago, the house reveals “design concepts employed later by Kahn in his public, institutional, and civic architecture, where major and minor façade fenestrations make a monumental impression in their overall composition.”
The property is being auctioned by Wright, a Chicago-based auction house that specializes in modern art and furniture and, occasionally, architecture. Wright brought down the hammer at $3.185 million for Pierre Koenig's Case Study House 21 in December 2006. And another midcentury wonder in warmer climes, Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, Calif., hit Christie's auction block on May 13.
By Bernd H. Dams and Andrew Zega
Serious garden folly enthusiasts already know about this book, originally published as a limited collector's volume and priced over $1,000. The authors—who are both historians and artists—spent over a decade researching and rendering the details of 42 actual structures, nearly all destroyed. Rizzoli; $60
Life on Mars
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Through Jan. 11, 2009
For the first time in 112 years, the Carnegie International—North America's oldest international survey of contemporary art—has a title, courtesy of curator Douglas Fogle. “Life on Mars” asks if we are alone in the universe. Forty artists from 17 countries present alien aspects of the familiar world, including China's Cao Fei in My Future Is Not a Dream. cmoa.org
KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics
Vancover Art Gallery
May 17 through Sept. 7
The most comprehensive-to-date assembly of anime, comics, cartoons, video games, manga (Japanese comics), and graphic novels—more than 600 works total—are presented in an exhibit designed by Tokyo-based architecture . rm Atelier Bow-Wow. vanartgallery.bc.ca
Renzo Piano's Art Museum for Harvard
Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass.
May 18 through June 30
The recipient of the AIA's 2008 Gold Medal presents schematic solutions for consolidating Harvard's Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler museums under one roof. artmuseums.harvard.edu