Best of Exhibits 2013

Leading the 20th-century vanguard of architectural photography, Chicago-born Ezra Stoller was a favorite of Modernist masters, handpicked to capture the likes of Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer’s UN Headquarters, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building. Chelsea photography gallery Yossi Milo presents a collection of his most iconic works, alongside his lesser known images of workers engaging with mid-century industrial America: conveyor belts, television factories, construction sites, and printing plants. • Yossi Milo Gallery, Jan. 24–March 2

Following the untimely death of a luminary whose brilliance transcended the boundaries of the architectural world, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents a retrospective of the late Lebbeus Woods. The museum surveys 75 works that span 35 years of his career. From fragmented drawings of structures that could never be built to dystopian foreign universes that barely resembled reality, Woods conveyed a profound consideration of the built environment and the way people reside in it. • SFMOMA, Feb. 16–June 2, 2013

While he’s made his name capturing the humanity behind the world’s most iconic architecture, the label "architectural photographer" kept Iwan Baan’s name off the radar—and off the roster—of fine art galleries until the release of "The City and the Storm." That was the arresting aerial shot of a post-Hurricane Sandy New York half-shrouded in darkness, which graced the cover of New York Magazine after the storm. Having called the attention of the nation, he’s been recently scooped up for representation by Los Angeles's Perry Rubenstein Gallery, where his inaugural show will feature large-scale works centered around this now-iconic photograph. • Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Feb. 20–April 13

Exploring Los Angeles's hypothetical urban landscape through unrealized floorplans, renderings, and models, "Never Built: Los Angeles" presents the unrealized potential of one of the nation's premier cities. Co-curators Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin, convinced that "in Los Angeles a genius for public architecture is largely missing," present the projects with the greatest power to reshape the city by virtue of their own brilliance. Those include the green space that the Olmsted Brothers and Harland Bartholomew's "Plan for the Los Angeles Region" (1930) would have provided for the parkless city as well as OMA's 2001 proposal to join the compartmentalized Los Angeles County Museum of Art compound under a single plastic roof. "Never Built" follows in the footsteps of similar unbuilt-themed exhibitions in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In these surveys, the act of examining what doesn't exist proposes that we question what does. • Architecture Design Museum, March 2–May 17

The system of interlocking tiles and layers of mortar developed by Rafael Guastavino Sr., a renowned 19th-century Catalan architect, are essential parts of major Beaux-Arts landmarks throughout the United States—from Grand Central Terminal to the Boston Public Library to the U.S. Supreme Court. Overshadowed by the principal architects of these buildings, Guastavino and his son, Rafael Jr., never received the full recognition they deserved. The National Building Museum intends to elevate the name of these vastly influential but under-appreciated innovators with “Places for the People,” a collection of drawings, large-scale color photographs, scale models, videos, and a full-scale tiled vault brought to you by the International Masonry Institute. Organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's John Ochsendorf, this survey seeks to convey the Guastavinos' vast contributions to American architecture. • National Building Museum, March 16–Sept. 2

As part of "Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in Los Angeles"—the building-oriented offshoot of the Getty Center’s West Coast-centric festival of art that last year brought you Ice Cube’s eloquent eulogizing of the Eames’s Case Study House—one exhibit serves as a formal investigation of the last 25 years in the quintessentially Southern Californian avant-garde. "A New Sculpturalism" begins with stylistic pioneers (including Frank Gehry, FAIA; Thom Mayne, FAIA; and Owen Moss, FAIA) and charts their subsequent influence on contemporary firms (Michael Maltzan Architecture, Morphosis Architects, Neil M. Denari Architects among them). • Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, April 21–July 29

The glorified and multi-talented architect and designer Le Corbusier has lesser-known identities, one being Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, the name he was given at birth, and another as an artist, a talent that took a backseat to his creation of iconic buildings. The Museum of Modern Art presents the architect’s largest exhibition ever in New York, an all-encompassing look at his career, including his fine art pursuits. From his watercolors of the Mediterranean to his photographs of locales worldwide, the exhibition sheds light on the complete breadth of his creativity. • MoMA, June 9–Sept. 23

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