Topic: Is Architecture Art or Science? Write an essay that addresses the following questions: How is architecture both a science and an art? Are there any similarities between sculpture and architecture? Can architecture be functional and expressive? Does function take precedence over creative expression in architecture? Cite examples of architectural innovations from the textbook.


12.1 Distinguish sculpture as three-dimensional att that viewers eacamine from multiple perspectives.

12.2 Compaze examples of freestanding and relief sculpture.

12.3 Describe additive, subtractive, and constructive techniques used to make sculprure.

12.4 Identify materials used in sculpture including kinetic and mixed media works.

12.5 Discuss the use of ins[allation and site-specific as ro transform their surroundings.

Most viewers who approach Martin Puryear’s work

C.F.A.O. (fig. 12.1, lefr) will first see a dizzying welter

of wood pieces, stacked in a loose network and glued

together, axop an old wheelbarrow. Mostly unpainted,

the stack of pieces seems to have a rectilinear organiza-

cion, but it is coo dense to see through. It is also, ac 8

feet 5 inches, rather tall. It looks as if someone may

have thought of a unique way of bringing home the

day’s purchases from the lumber yard.

Buz if we walk around is and look from the

other side (fig. 12.1, right), we see the reason for the

apparent density of the work: a large, curving shape,

based on an elongated African mask, chat the aztist

painted white. Cleazly, in order to see and grasp this

work, we must walk around it and e~camine it from

various angles.

As C.F.A.O. illustrates, sculpture is a work in three

dimensions: It has height, breadth, and depth. It thus

exists in space, as we do. As we look ac a sculpture, the

total experience of the piece is the sum of its masses,

surfaces, and profiles. In this chapter we will consider

the two main types of sculpture—freestanding and

relief—and expbre the various methods and materials

used to create them.

(G~-{Listen to the chapter audio on

Freestanding and Relief Sculpture Sculpture meant to be seen from all sides is called in-

the-round, or freestanding. As we move around it,

our experience of a sculpture is the sum of iu various

aspects. A single photograph shows only one view of

a sculpture under one kind of light, thus, we receive

only a limited impression of a sculpture unless we can

see many photographs oy better yet, a video; or best of

all, view the piece ourselves.

A sculpture that is not freestanding but projects

from a background surface is in relief. In low-relief

(sometimes called bas-relied sculpture, the projec-

tion from the surrounding surface is s

shadows are minimal. Coins, for exaR

low-relief sculpture stamped from mo

in the art of coin design was reached

Sicily during the classical period of

The Apollo coin (fig. 12.2), shown h

than actual size, has a strong presence

in low relief and very small.

Some of the world’s best and r

relief sculptures are found at the to

Wat in Cambodia. This vast temple

center of the Khmer empire in the

Here Kluwer kings sponsored an ex

of sculpxure and archi~ecmre. With


of the complex, carvings aze in such delicare low relief that they seem more like paintings than sculpture. One scene, Army on the March (fig. 12.3), depicts a king’s army commanded by a prince. The rhythmic pattern of the spear-carrying soldiers contrasts with the curv- ing patterns of the jungle foliage in the background. The soldiers and background provide a setting for the prince, who stands with bow and azrow poised in his carriage on the elephant’s back Intricate detail covers entire surfaces oFrhe stone walls.

In high-relief sculpture, more than half of the nao- ural circumference of the modeled Form projects from the surrounding surface, and figures aze ohen subs[an- tially undercut.

This is the case with Robert Longo’s Carporare Wars: Wall of Influenre (fig. 12.4), where male and


12.1 Martin Puryear. C.F.A.O. 2006-2007. Painted and unpainted pine and found wheelburow. 8’S’ x 6’S~” x 61″. 71» hWseum of hbdern An, Nw. Yark. Cwrbry of the n~K.~ caik.~. vhom wdw~d c,~dY.



12.4 Robcrc Longo. Corporate iY/ars: WaL! ofln~luenre. 1982. Middle portion. Case aluminum. 7′ X 9′. Cwm.y of she ornst and Metro Pictures.

O [Watch a video about the technique of relief sculpture carving on

female figures convulse in painfiil wnflict. Much of the

composition is high relief; in only a few azeas aze limbs

and garments barely raised above the background sur-

face. Dynamic gestures and [he diagonal placement of

torsos and limbs make the sculpture very active. The

emotional chazge of the piece suggests that Longo is

horrified by the intense competition of corporate life.

Methods and Materials Traditionally, sculpture has been made by modeling,

casting, carving, cons[ructing, and usembling, or a

combination of these processes.

Mocle~ing Modeling is usually an additive process. Pliable mate-

rial such as clay, wa~c, or plaster is built up, removed,

and pushed into a final form.

Culnues around the world have lek us e~camples of

cheir arcs through modeled ceramics. Tool mazks and

12.5 Ba!!playn with Three-Part Yoke and Bid Headdreu. Maya Classic period. 600-800. Ceramic with traces

of blue pigment. 13″hz” X 7″.

r~~ u~~y,u~ row,~m. nw~~m a,~d,o~, ro..+.. r~,m~d, ate, of 1711, Fund, in lanor d Gilldl G. Griffin m his 70~h bir*doy. 1998-36. Phob by Biuu M. While. Phdog~Ph: r~~~ u~~K~s~y nn nw~/an Remurce NY/Scda, Fbrence.

fingerprint impressions aze visible on the surface as evi- dence of the modeling cechnique employed co make Ballplayer with Three-Part Yake and Bird Headdrers (fig. 12.5). Body volume, natural gesture, and cos- tumedetail aze clearly defined. The ancient Maya, who lived in what aze now pazts of Meuico, Guatemala, and Honduras, used clay to create fine ceramic vessels and lively naturalistic xulprures like this one.

The working consistencies of clay, wa~c, and plaster are soft. To prevent sagging, sculptors usually staff all but very small pieces with a rigid inner suppon called an azmature. When clay is modeled to form large sculptures, the total piece can be built in relatively

small, separately fired, structurally self-sufficient sec- tions, thereby eliminating the need for an armaxure.

Viola Frey used an azmature to create her work Stubborn Woman, Orange Hands (6g. 12.6). Like most clay works of this size, ii is hollow; the aaisc cut it into pieces for more convenient firing. The armature held it up as she worked on it. Typical of Frey’s style, this figure is lazger than life-size. It depicts Everywoman, staring resolutely forward. She is unclothed because the artist thought that women were more powerful in their “bitthday suits.” She left the seams between the patts visible, admitting viewers into the creative process.


12.6 Viola Frey. Stubborn Woman, Orange HanCs. 2004. Ceramic. 72″ X 80″ X 72″. Co~rlesy of W my Hollmon Gallery Art m Artizti legory Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New Yoek, NV.

12.3 Army on the March.

Relief From Mgkor Wat, The Great Temple of [he Khmers, Cambodia. 1100-1150. Sandstone. imo 61ifs Piwres/Ge11y Image.



12.7 Ken Price. Vink. 2009. Acrylic on fired ceramic. 9″ X 20′” X ll “. L.A. Inuver, Veniw, CP..

Artworks made throughmodeling need not be

representational, as Ken Price’s Vink (fig. 12.7) shows.

He modeled this work out of clay, fired it, painted it

with multiple layers of acrylic paint, and then sanded

the surface to expose spots of the paint layers below.

Though the tide refers to a small European songbird,

any resemblance is coincidental. Rather, this piece sug-

gestsbody parts, undersea organisms yet undiscovered,

or some kind of knobby plant life. The iridescent color

adds to the mysteriousness of the shape.

Casting Casting processes make it possible to execute a work

in an easily handled medium (such as clay) and then

[o reproduce the resul[s in a mote permanent mate-

rial (such as bronze). Because most casting involves



e~w wa. ~w

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12.8 The Casting Process.

o-[Watch a video about the technique of lost-wax bronze casting on myartslab.tom

the substi[ution of one maxerial for anoeher, caso- ing is also called a substitution process. The process of bronze casting was highly developed in ancient

China, Greece, Rome, and pazts of Africa. It has been

used e~ctensively in the West from the Renaissance to

modern times. Casting requires several steps. First, a mold is

taken from the original work. The process o£ mak-

ing the mold vazies, depending

on the material of the original

and the material used in the j’ casting. In any case, the mold

completely surrounds the orig- final, leaving no gaps. Materials that will harden can be used to

make molds: clay diluted with water, molten metal, concrete,

or liquid plastic. Second, xhe original sculp[ure is removed from xhe mold; this may require disassembly of either the original or [he mold. Neact, the casting liquid is poured into the resulting hollow cavity of the mold. Finally, when the casting liquid has hardened, the mold is removed.

Some casting processes use

molds or fle~cible ma[erials that allow many casts to be made from the same mold; with other

processes, such as the losawax process (fig. 12.8), the mold is destroyed to remove the hazdened cast, thus

permitting the creation of only a single cast.

Castings can be solid or hollow, depending on the casing method. The cost and the weight of [he material often help determine which casting method will be used fot a specific work. The Statue of Liberty in New York hazbor, for example, was cas[ in many pieces and reassembled into a hollowwhole on site; an elaborate azmature holds it up.

The process of casting a large object like Giacome[ti’s Man Painting (see fig. 3.14) is extremely complicated. Except for small pieces that can be cast solid, most aztisrs turn their originals over to foundry elcperts, who make the molds and do the casting. Most of our monuments in public parks were cast in bronze from artists’ clay or waac models. Robert Longo’s Corporate Warr: Wall oflnfluence (see fig. 12.4) is made from cast aluminum.

Many items are cast besides ar[, such as auto- mobile engine parts, some dishes, and children’s toys. Chazles Ray made witty reference to the latter in his cast steel work Father Figure (fig. 12.9). He based it on a green plastic roy tractor, which he enlarged ro life- siu in a plaster model before casting in solid steel. The work weighs more [han 1$ tons, and irs original roy- like nature has vanished as the “father figure” looms up, faintly menacing, at one with his machinery.

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‘~ 12.10 Kaz Oshiro. Tailgate (OTA). 2006. Acrylic and Bondo on tamers. 53″ x 17’fe” X 1%”. Bo[rom edge 12″ Erom wall. callecnon of Barry Sloane, Los nngeles.

o-[Watch a podcast interview with Kaz Oshiro about Tailgate (OTA) on

Kaz Oshiro used paint, canvas, and Bondo putty m create the strikingly realistic Tailgate (OTA) (fig. 12.10). This eye-popping work duplicates the size, shape, and worn look of a real pickup truck tailgate. He completed the illusion with Bondo, a compound used in auto body repair shops. Viewers who peer around behind the work are rewarded with a glimpse of the wooden azmature tha[ holds it together. Tailgate, like Father Figure, uses sculpture’s three-dimensional presence to play an elaborate game between image and reality.



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12.9 Charles Ray. Father Figum. 2007. Painted steel. 93%` X 137’ X 7 V’~”. ~ CMrles Roy, Ca~rlasy NwMhew Marks Gallery, Naw York.



Sculptors such as Oslvro who attempt to fool our

eyes with works that resemble real ehi~gs aze working

in an ancient Western tradi[ion that values realism as

evidence of artistic skill. According to myth, the clas-

sical Greek artist Zeuxis once painred a man holding a

12.11 Rachel Whiceread. Untitled (Hive) L 2007-2008. Resin (two pazu). 32 ~” X 20’s/~” X 253/6″. ~ Rachel Whitarmd. Ca~rlery Gagosion Gallery

bowl of grapes so realistically that a bird flew down and

tried to eat the fruit. Zeuxis was unsatisfied with the

work, however, because, he reasoned, if he had painted

the man with equal skill, the figure would have fright-

ened the bird away. Unfortunately, none of his works

survives. The belief that the greao-

esc azdsts aze the best at cap[uring

a likeness still holds much sway

in our society, and ar[ists such as

Oshiro make chazming allusion to

it in their works.

English artist Rachel

Whiteread uses new materials such

as polyvinyl resin in fascinating

cast pieces that turn empty spaces

into solid volumes. To create

Untitled (Hive) I (fig. 12.11),

she filled a beekeeper’s hive with

lustrous, brown-orange resin and

then took away the hive to leave

only she interior, now rendered

solid. In casting, artists make use

of absence and presence, replac-

ing one substance with another.

By casting empty volumes,

Whiteread gives absence a new

kind of haunting presence.

Carving Carving away unwanted material eo form a sculptttr~ is a subtractive process. Michelangelo preferred chi; method. Close observation of his chisel marks on thr surfaces of the unfinishedAwakeningSlave (fig. 12.12;

I~ reveals the steps he took toward incLeasingly refinec cutting, even before he had roughed out the figuxc from all sides. Because Michelangelo lefr this piece it an unfinished state, ii seems as though we aze lookin€

• over his shoulder midway through the carving process For him, making sculpture was a process of releasin€ the form from within the block of stone. This is onE of four figures, later called Slaves, that Michelangelo abandoned in various stages of complerion.

Carving is the mos[ challenging of the three basic sculptural methods because it is a one-way techniqu< chae provides little or no opportunity to correct errors Before beginning to cut, the sculptor must visualizf the finished Eorm from every angle within the origina block of material. (Another example of Michelangeld; carving is his Pletd, see fig. 4.20.)

The vazious types of scone with their differem characteristics greatly influence the type of care ing that can be done with them. The marble that Michelangelo and many sculptors in [he Europeac tradition prefer is typically soft and workable enougl’ chat it can be cut with a chisel. Final polishing witk a light abrasive yields a smooth and creamy surface not unlike human skin. Marble has been a preferrec material in the West for outdoor sculpture for cem turies, but modern air pollution and acid rain hares the scone, making it far less desirable xoday. Granite avoids these pitfalls, and thus is open used for out door monuments such as tombstones, but granite i;

j so hard that carving in detail is difficult. Sandstones ~ and limestone are sedimentary materials that have j also found wide use in many parts of the world. The

Cambodian creators of Army on the March, for exam- ple (see fig. 12.3), took advantage of the qualities of sandstone. Sedimentary stones aze relatively sof[ allowing much detail, and can be polished to a higF

‘ gloss, though weather reduces this over time.

The ancient Egyptians used schise, a dense stone similar to slate. The jade that the Chinese favored is so hard and brittle that it can only be ground down by abrasion or filing; hence it is suitable only for


12.12 Michelangelo Buonazmti.Awakening Slrtve.

1530-1534. Galleries delPAccademia.

Mazble. Height 9’. aks-Images/Rabani~ Domtnpfe.



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small pieces. The disk, or bi (fig. 12.13), found in a

Chinese royal tomb is an exquisite example of carving

using pale green nephrite, a tare type of jade. Chinese

workers ground xhe stone nearly nvo thousand years

ago, using drills and quartz sand in a highly laborious

process. The results of their work in this piece show

a rare order of quality; the raised circles in the disk

(called bosses) line up in perfectly even rows, and

the feline monster above shows a rounded body and

graceful, cao-like movement, amid a pattern that sug-

gests clouds and wind.

In wood carving, many sculptors prefer wal-

nut and cypress because of their strength and ease

of working. The gesture of the mother in Elizabeth

Cadett’s carved Mother and Child (fig. 12.14) sug-

gests anguish, perhaps over the struggles all mothers

know each child will face. Both figures have been

abscraaed in a composition of bold sweeping curves

and essential shapes. Solidiry of the mass is relieved

by the open space between the uplihed chin and

raised elbow and by the convex and concave surfaces.

An engraved line indicating the mother’s right hand

accents the surface of the form. The highly polished

smooth wood invites the viewer to touch.

Martin Puryear manipulates and shapes wood in

several differen[ ways. In C.EA.O. (see fig. 12.1), he

combined carving with mere stacking. His pieces also

o&en involve carving, assembling, and then finishing,

as in Hominid (see fig. 12.16), a Finely crafred shape

measuring more than 6 fee[ tall.

Martin Puryear (b. 1941 j: Shaping Possibilities Why become a sculpbr2 Then, in the rear of the work is on irregular polygonal os in marry of his ocher wor4s; MaAin Puryear soid, “The work, hidden 6om the first block on wooden rollers. We his creation shows obvious difference is so great approach of most viewers, may well imagine hominids craftsmanship, but ifs meaning when you go into the third Puryear installed a huge pushing this piece along on is only suggested ro the viewer. dimension…. IPs not simply mask. If the mask symbolizes its rollers, for reasons that a two-dimensional thing haditional African culture, its remain mysterious. Puryear Puryear’s sculptures create on expanded. IYs like an infinitely “hidden” location parallels the finished the bock using all of absorbing mix of possibilities multiple view, an infinitely disrespect that most French the cabinehnaker’s hadifional in the mind. the time that it mulfiplled sense of possibilities, colonizers had for native skills of sawing, joining, and takes for viewers fo sense, spatial possibilities. ThaYs African ways. It also reflects finishing, but these only add to and then weigh, possible what iNeresis me.”‘ back the face and perhaps the its enigmatic quality. In titling a meanings is the key moment

body of ih indigenous driver. work, Puryear fries fo “juxtapose for appreciating his work. He The abbreviation in the title of his work C. F.A.O. These attempts to find meaning see fig. 12.1 ~ stands for in this work ore all tentative, Canpagnie Frantaise because Puryear would prefer de I’Afrique Occidentale, to leave any symbolism in a privatesector trading an open ended state. His company in the former French work does not generally colony of Sierra Leone. He allow easy equation of began the work with an imagery and meaning. He old wheelbarrow, the sort said, “I wlue the referential that laborers the world over quality of art, the fad that might use. It is an obviously a work can allude fo things handmade implement, and or states of being without in Puryear respells it for that: “I’m any way representing them. really interested in vernacular The ideas that give rise to a cultures,” he says, “where work can be quite di((use, people have ro live closer to so I would describe my usual the source of material and the working process as a kind of making of objects for use. Md distillation —trying to make in trades, in which people coherence out of things that make things in ways that are can seem contradictory.”‘ not necessarily artistic.”‘ In this mse, a wheelbarrow

holding a tall slack of wood, The C.F.A.O. no longer and an outsized mask painter functioned when Puryear lived white seem to have IiMe to do in Sierra Leone in the early with each other He explains, 1960s as a Peace Corps “Coherence is not the same as volunteer But many Africans resolution. The most interesting remembered it as a tool of art for me retains a Nickering oppression, as if bought quality, where opposed African products at low prices ideas can’ce held in tense for sale overseas, and kept ccexis~ence.”a Africans Gam developing their own indushies. Perhaps In the case of Hwninid fo symbolize this colonial fig• ~z•~5~, the work and situation, Puryear burdened its fide seem to have just that the wheelbarrow with a sort of uneary relationship. bewildering array of wood A hominid is a prahuman pieces that weigh it down and primate, halfway beAveen bock the operator’s view. chimp and person, while the

things in order to open up says, “I chink my work speaks various possible meanings to to anybody who has the the imagination.”s In Hominid capacity to slow down.”°

~[Wateh the Art21 video of Martin Puryear discussing his work on




12.13 Disk (6:). China, Wesrern Han dynasty, c.100-220 ca. Jade (nephrite). Diameter 7″. F1eer corky of an, smllh~omm~ ~nsnNnon, wcehngro~. o.c~. GiN of Cha~lm InnB Freer, Fl916.I55.

12.14 EIuabeth Cadet[. Motba and Cbi/d #2. 1971. Walnut. Height 38″. n~aoe~~ M s~m~ie ~.~~. m cad.n n+~ Fam~y TN:du~~xd by VAGA, New York, NY

12.15 Martin Puryeac Hominid. 2007-2011. Pine. 73″ X 77’/i” X 57″. Currently located ac Martin Puryear’s studio. c~,.My d d„ nom« ~ik.y. rn~: a~~na~ e~~.



Constructing and Assembling Fot most of recorded history, the major sculpting rech-

niques in the Western world were modeling, carving,

and casting. Eazly in the twentieth century, assem-

bling methods became popular. Such works are called

assembled sculpture or consauccions.

In the late 1920s, Spaniard Julio Gonzalez pio-

neered the use of the welding torch for cutting and

welding metal sculpture. The invention of o~cyacety-

lene welding in 1895 had provided the necessary

tool for welded metal sculpture, but it took three

decades for attists to u[ilize the new roofs potential.

Gonzalez had learned welding while working briefly

in an automobIle factory. After several decades—and

limited success—as a painter, Gonzalez began assist-

ing Picasso with the construction of metal sculp[ure.

Subsequently, Gonzalez committed himself to sculp-

ture and began to create his strongest, most original

work. In 1932 he wrote:

The Age of Iron began many cenruries ago by

producing very beautiful objects, unfortunately

mostly weapons. Today it makes possible

bridges and railroads as well It is ume that this

material cease to be a murderer and the simple

instrumene of an overly mechanical science.

The door is wide open, at Iasd for this material

co be Forged and hammered by the peaceful

hands of artists?

Gonzalez welded iron rods to construct his linear

abstraction Maternity (fig. 12.16). It is airy and play-

ful as it suggests a feminine anatomy atop a stone base.

Since the 1970s, Deborah Butterfield has created figures of horses from found materi- als such as sticks and scrap metal. She spends much of her rime on ranches in Montana and Hawaii where she trains and rides horses and makes sculpture. Painted, crumpled, rusted pieces of metal certainly seem an unlikely choice for expressing alight-footed animal, yec Butterfield’s Conure (Sg. 12.17) has a surpris- ingly lifelike presence. The artist intends her sculptures co feel like horses rather than sim- plylook like them. The old car bodies she has used for many of her welded and wired metal horses add a note of irony: The scrapped autos take on a new life as a horse.

Some sculptors assemble found objects in ways that radically change the way we see familiar things. Yet we see enough of the objects’ original chatacteristia that we can participate in their transformation. Such work requires metaphorical visual thinking by both artists and viewers. This type of constructed sculpture is called assemblage.

Picasso found a wealth o£ ready-made ingredients from salvaged fragments of daily life. In his assemblage Bull’c Head (fig. 12.18) he joined two common objects toge[her to create a third. Describing how it happened, he said: “One day I found in a pile of jum- ble an old bicycle saddle ncxc to some rusted handle bazs … In a flash they were associ- ated in my mind …The idea of this Bull’s Head came without my thinking of it … I had only to solder them together.”e

Some assemblages gather meaning from the juxtaposition of teal objects. Marc Andre Robinson shops in thrift stores for pieces of old used furniture and assembles new objects from them. Throne for the Greatert Rapper of All Time (flg. 12.19) is one such work. We see at the lower center that the piece is based on found chairs, but he added a higher back and wings to the sides. If the purpose of a throne is to dignify whoever sits in it, this assemblage accomplishes that. This throne is a higher form oFchair, made mos[ly from chairs.


12.15 Pablo Picasso. Bulls Head 1943. Bronze.

Seat and handles of a bicycle. Height 16%”. Paris, munAa Pimsw. RMNGmnd Pdai~/Phoro by 9ernice Hamla ~ 2013 Esmk of Poblo 7imsw/Mush Rights Sociey ~ARS~, Naw Vork.

12.16 Julio Gonz5lez. Maternity 1934. Steel and stone. Height 49h’. ~ Tob, lavbn 2013 ~ 7017 Arlish Righh

sxiMy IA2sI, clew York,

12.19 Marc Mdre Robinson. Throne for tJx Gnamt Rappn ofAUTime. 2005. Wood. 76″ X 69″ X 48″. Pnwte Cdlec~an.

12.17 Deborah Butterfield. Corture. 2007. Found steel, welded. 92’h” x 119″ X 30″. Canesy ln. iw,«.V ~, ca. ~ Debo~oh B~nerfidd/ Licenxd 6y VAGA, Naw York, NY.



12.20 Jesus Rafael Soto. &rritura Hurtado (Hurtado Wiitin~. 1975. Painq wire, nylon cord, and wood. 40″ X 68″ X I8″. a,r.mrod .~~h ~~»~«~ ~ ~ ce,<roi sa,~.~ d ~ ons a~a. ai nw~m of ~ Americas Collecfion. 0 2013 Hrlish kighh Sociey ~ARS~, New York/ADAGP, Poris.



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12.21 Cai Guo-Qiang. lnopportunc. Stage One. 2004. Nine cars and sequenced multichannel light tubes. Dimensions variable.

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Kinetic Sculpture Alexander Calder was among the first to acplore the

possibilities of kinetic sculpture, or sculpture that

moves. Sculptors’ tradixional focus on mass is replaced in Calder’s work by a focus on shape, space, and moor

meet Works such as his huge Untitled (see 6g. 3.33) at

the Na[ional Gallery of Art in Washingron, D.C., aze ofren called mobIles because the suspended patts move in response to small air currents.

If Calder’s mobiles are massive and e~cuberant, far

more delicate aze the mobiles of Jestis Rafael Soto, such

as Hurutdo Writing (Hg. 12.20). Against a background of painted, thin vertical stripes, suspended curves of

wire slowly sway in whatever air currents aze present.

These wire pieces resemble the strokes of handwriting;

hence the title. Their mo[ion makes the background seem to vibrate.

When Lara Schnitger drapes and svetches fabric over wooden armatures, she creates both a sculpture

and a hollow interior space. The work of this Los

Angeles-based artist straddles the boundary between

sculpture and fashion design, just as the figures she creates hover nervously between human and some other living thing. In Grim Boy (fig. 12.22), for exam-

ple, she used various dark-colored fabrics together

with beads and fur to suggest a mannequin from hell.

This tense, lurking figure seems to e~cude the nervous energy of an adolescent wmbined with the quick eye of a birci. But it stands almost 6 feet tall, like a gan-

gling teenager, and the work’s tide may remind us of

a brooding, trenchcoat-clad youth. There is an addi-

tional feminist message co most of Schni[ger’s work

as well, because she is doing a sort of “dressmaking,”

Mixed Media Today’s aztists frequently use a variety of media in a single work. Such works may be labeled with a long list of materials, or they may be

identified only as mixed media. The media may be two-dimensional, three-dimensional,

or a mixrure of the two. Ofren, the choice of

media expresses some cultural or symbolic meaning.

The contemporary Chinese-born artist

Cai Guo-Qiang created a huge and symbolic

mixed media piece in 2004 with Inopportune:

Stage One (fig. 12.21), now in [he Seattle Art Museum. The work consists of nine aucomo-

biles with light tubes perforating them. The

cars are arrayed as if we are seeing momentary

glimpses of one car Ripping through the air

as i[ explodes. Cai intended this work ro refer

bo[h to contemporary action movies (where

cars ofren eacplode and fly through the air)

and to car bombings by terrorists. The work

challenges us to consider if this is a thrilling

scene, as in a movie, or a horrendous one, as

in real life.



~ ~

12.22 Lara Schnitger. Grim Box 2005. Wood, fabric,

and mixed media. 71″ X 59″ X 20″.

Anwn Ke.n Galley, New York.




a traditional women’s arcform. Rather than creating Installations and Site-Specific Art beautiful adornments, though, she fashions curious Many artisxs now use [he three-dimensional medium

quasi-human beings. of installation ro make their visual statement. An

Matthew Monahan cobbles toge[her various media installation artist ttansforms a space by bringing inro

to make works that seem like museum e~chibits gone it items of symbolic significance. This medium is most

wrong. He carved the two principal figures in The Se/ler similaz ro constructed sculpture, but the aztist treats

and the Sold (fig. 12.23) out of floral foam. The upper the entire space as an aztwork and transforms it.

figure is tensely posed in a manner similar ~o one of A recent installation that is both simple and pro-

Michelangelo’s Awakening Slaves (see fig. 12.12). The found is Eavesdropping (fig. 12.24) by Amalia Pica.

lazger figure in the box is tipped head downward, like a To create this work, she obtained a batch of drinking

roppled starue of a dictator. The artist painted the face glasses in various sizes and colors, and then attached

of this figure in deep earth tones and gave it a faraway them to a gallery wall. They create a myscerious yet

expression, like some mummified king. Seeing this somewhat playfiil atmosphere, as they are wmpletely

work in a gallery is like finding the ruins of a dead civi- out of place for normal use. Yet when attached to a

lizarion, encased in a museum exhibit. But iu tide leads wall in this way, drinking glasses amplify sounds on

us to think of the business world; perhaps the figure the other side of the wall, making ahem a simple tool

above is the seller and the upended figure is the sold. for the eavesdropping of the tide. When we consider

that the artist grew up in Argentina when

it was a repressive military dictatorship, we

may sense another, more ominous, level of

meaning to this seemingly straightforward


r\; Eavesdropping could theoretically be

relocated and installed in another spot, but

c~;+’;’~ some installations are intended only for

`°’ ~r particular locations. Such works are called~+’/ ‘~ site-specific. Site-specific works that are

l created for the great outdoors, sometimes

~~ in far-off locations, are in turn referred to

as eazthworks, or land art. (One of the

earliest and besx-known of these is Robert

Smithsods Spiral jet[y, see fig. 24.33).

~c . The beso-known work of site-specific

y__>’ att in the United States became famous

because of a lawsuit chat tested the limits

of the aztist’s power. In 1981, the govern-

ment installed Richazd Serra’s work Tilted

Arc (fig. 12.25) in the plaza adjoining a

federal office building; it was a tiking, curve

ing, blade of steel 12 feet high. Soon the

office workers began co complain about ir.

ii blocked the view; it forced them to walk

a detour azound ix; it becazne a homeless

12.23 Matthew Monahan. The Se!!rr and the Sold. 2006. shelrer; it collected graffiti. When the gov-

ernment announced plans [o relocate theD all, glass, wax, foam, and pigment. G7″ x 25′” X 25″. co~~ryofSNanShwe/hbdemAn,lombnmdMbnKemGallery,NewYork work, the azcist filed a lawsuit, claiming


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12.24 Amalia Pica. Eaverd~~op~irzg: ZO11.

Drinking glasses and glue.

78″ x 240″ x 8″. Co~nesy of riw~k Fow~ Gallery.

~ that Tilted Arc was meant for char spot, and to relocate it would be ro destroy it The artist lost his case, but the matter did not turn on any legal requirement of site-specificity; ra[her, the court held that the government, az owner of the work, could dispose of it. Afrer years of court cases, TilsedArc was removed in 1989.

When the Tate Modern took over an old power plant in London in 2000, [he museum inherited a uniquely lazge indoor space for site- specific art: a huge atrium nearly 500 feet long that it now uses for large-scale [emporary ins~allations. One of the


12.25 Richard Serra. Tilted Arc. 1951. Steel. Height 12′, length 120′. AP Phae/Norio Cabrera. ‘

o-[Watch the Art21 video of Richard Serra discussing his work on



most striking of these installations so far has been The R~eatbrr Project (fig. 12.26) by Danish artist Olafur

Eliasson. He installed a huge semicircular sun of bright i lamps and then cmered the ceiling in mirrors, so that

the yellow orb seemed whole. The lights that illumi- i Waxed it were single-frequency bulbs, which created an

intense yellow glow throughout the hall. A Few strategi- cally placed fans blew mist from evaporating dry ice,

I creating clouds that luily gathered and dispersed. Museum officials estimated that The Weather

Project drew nvo million visitors over its five-month f run during the bleak London winter of 2003-04.

Viewers basked in the seeming warmth of a huge yel- low sun that never set, they watched the passing indoor

weather; they lay on the floor and looked at their reflec- tions on the ceiling 115 feet above. The installation generally served as a space of communal meditation.

When an aztist creates a work in three dimensions, the result is called sculpture. A sculpmr may create an

object using diverse macerials and processes, or even al[et an entire space, converting it into an artwork.

~–[Study and review on


1. Wha[ are the principal techniques of sculpture? Buy some modeling clay and try to make a miniarure version of ICen Price’s i/ink (fig. 12.7).

2. How are most public monuments made?

3. What are some recent innovations in

how sculptors work in a space?

KEY TERM $ freestanding -describes any piece or ype of sculpture Iho~ is meant to be seen from all sides

‘, additive sculpture -sculptural form produced by adding, combining, or building up material from a kinetic sculpNre- sculpWre that incorporates actual

i core or din some cases on armature movement as part of the design

assemblage- sculpture made by assembling relief -sculpture in which threedimensional Forms found or castoff objects that may or moy not project from the {lad background of which They are contribute their original iden~ilies to the total content a part of the work

silrspetific -any work made for a certain place, tasting – a process that involves pouring liquid which cannot be seporaied or exhibited apart from material such as molten metal, clay, wax, or its intended environment plaster inro a mold; when the liquid hardens, the mold is removed, and a form in the shops of the subhaNive Sculpture – xulpture made by removing mold is leh material from a larger block or form


12.26 Olafur Eliasson. The Weatbo Project (The Unilever Series). 2003.

Installation in Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London. Monofrequenry lights, piojeaion foil,

haze machines, mirror foil, aluminum, and scaffolding. 87″T/C X 73’2″ X 509″10%a”.

Plwb: lens Ziehe. Courlery Ifw artist; Neugarianxhneider, Berlin, aid brrya Bomkdor Galbry, New Vwk ~ da(ur Elbssan YOD3.




13.1 Examine the historical diseinction of craft and an.

13.2 Identify the visual and physical proper~ies of different craft media (clay, glass, meal, wood, and fiber).

13.3 Conaast the techniques and forms used by artists working with craft media.

13.4 Provide examples of objects made from crafr media that serve functional, aesthetic, and expressive purposes.

13.5 Consider the social and cultural meaning of traditional craft artforms.

WiWam Morris’ Windrush (fig. 13.1) is an elegant and well-crafted woodblock print chat pushes at the bound- ary between azt and utility. A design in several colors [hat is repeatable, it can serve as a textile or a wallpa- per pattern. Covering your table or your bedroom wall with Windrush can enrich your surroundings, so that it may seem as if you aze living with an artwork.

In the Western world, we have of[en separated azt from “craft.” Arc may be highly craf[ed, but ii is oken not “useful,” meaning that we cannot employ it to meet our basic needs. At the same time, such items as Baring utensils, blankeu, or clothing aze open thought too close co being “functional” to be artworks. Even if they aze beautiful, they aze craftworks. Artists and craftworkers, William Morris among them, have tried to break down this burier at various times.

In 1861 in England, Morris created an inte- rior design company with the goal of helping people improve their lives by making them more artistic. In several books and hundreds of public lectures, he urged the creation of art for everyday use, affordable to

~4•-[Listen to the chapter audio on

buy and enjoyable to live with. “I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few,° he said. Artists, he believed, should devote their skills ro creating useful objects for everyone. “Have nothing in your house that you do not know [o be useful or believe to be beautiful,” was the maxim he tried to live by. Thus in his workshop he made dishes, wallpaper, furniture, and fabrics, all by hand like crafr- workers of the Middle Ages.

Many other artists have found stimulation in working along the boundary between azt and useful objects. They create works that challenge our notion of function, either by making aztworks that resemble useful things, or by creating usefiil objects of such beauty that to actually use them would seem a crime. In fact, most of the world’s cultures have always regazded an eaccellent piece of pottery as highly as a painting, and a book illustration as equal in merit to a piece ofsculp[ure.

In this chapter, we will consider several media generally associated with crafts: clay, glass, metal, wood, and fiber, most aze three dimensional. Ina pre- vious era, we might have regarded the works illustra[ed here as “crafrworks:’ But in this day and age (and here) they are all aztforms.

13.1 ~Iliam Morris. Windrurb. 1892.

Textile pattern. Woodbbck print

on paper. Repcatable.

vino.w a~a a~h.n M~.e.q ImJon 0 V8A bivgx.


Clay comes from soil with a heavily volcanic makeup,

mixed with water. Since humans began to live in settled

communities, clay has been a valuable art material. I[

is extremely Ilexible in the artist’s hands, yet it hazdens

into a permanent shape when exposed ro heat.

The azt and science of making objects Crom clay is

called ceramics. Any person who works with clay is a

ceramist; a ceramist who specializes in making dishes is

a potter. A wide range of objects, including nbleware,

dishes, sculprure, bricks, and many kinds of tiles, are

made from day. Most of the basic ceramic techniques

were discovered thousands of years ago. All clays are

flexible until baked in a dedicated high-temperature

oven called a lriln, a process known as Bring.

Clays are generally categorized in one of three

broad types. Earthenware is typically fired at a rela-

tively low temperature (approximately 800°C to

1,100°C) and is porous afrer firing. I[ may vary in

color from red to brown to tan. Earthenware is the

most wmmon of the three types, and a great many of

the world’s you have been made from is Stoneware

is heavier, is fired at a higher temperature (1,200°C

to 1,300°C), and is nox porous. It is usually grayish

or brown. Combining strength with easy workability,

stoneware is the preferred medium of most of today’s

ceramists and potters. Porcelain is the rarest and most

expensive of the three types. Made from deposits of

decomposed granite, it becomes white and nonporous





13.2 Berry Woodman. Divuled Yiva: Cubist. 2004.

Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint. 34%a” X 39″ X 7″. Sabn 94, New Ywk.

fie—[Explore the Discovering Art tutorial on crafts on

aher firing at a typically high [emperature (1,300°C to

1,400°C). It is translucent and rings when struck, both

signs of its unique quality. Porcelain was first perfected

in China, and even today in Britain and America xhe

finest white dishes are called “china,” no matter where

they are made.

With any type of clay, the ceramic process is

relatively simple. Ceramists create functional objects

or purely sculptural forms from soft, damp clay

using hand-building methods such as modeling, or

by throwing—that is, by shaping clay on a rapidly

revolving wheel. Invented in Mesopotamia about six

thousand years ago, the pot[er’s wheel allows potters

to produce circular forms with great speed and uni-

formiry. In the hands of a skilled worker, the process

looks effortless, even magical, but it takes time and

practice to perfect the technique. Afrer shaping, a

piece is air dried before firing in a kiln.

Two kinds of liquids are commonly used to deco-

rate ceramics, though rarefy on ehe same piece. A slip

is a mixture of clay and water about the consistency of

cream, somerimes colored with earthen powders. With

this relatively simple technique, only a limited range

of colors is possible, but many ancient cultures made a

specialty of this type of pottery decoration (see fig. 2.2).

A glaze is a liquid paint with a silica base, spe-

cially formufaced for clay. During Acing, the glaze vit-

rifies (turns to a glasslike substance) and fuses with xhe

clay body, creating a nonporous surface. Glazes can

be colored or clear, translucent or opaque, glossy or

dull, depending on their cheaucal composition. Firing

changes xhe color of most glazes so radically chat the

liquid that the ceraznist applies ro the vessel comes out

of the kiln an entirely different wlor.

Recent works by two of today’s leading ceramists

will help ro show the possibilities of this medium; both

aze vessels with handles, but they show widely diveo-

gent styles. Betty Woodman’s Divided Vases: Cubist

(fig. 13.2) have an exuberant, free-form look chat

preserves the expressiveness of spontaneous glaze appli- caxion. The handles ue actually flat perforared panels chat still show traces of the working process. Woodman used earthenware, a relatively coarse clay that is condu- cive to natural shapes like the bamboo segmen[s that the vase bodies suggest. She threw each in three pieces on the wheel, and then joined them before adding [he handles, The Divided [uses have a fresh look, as iE they just came out of the firing kiln.

Adrian Sake’s Les Rois du monde furor (Rulerr ofthe Future Wor(dJ (fig. 133) seems precious and exqui- site by comparison. He used porcelain for the main body, working ii into a gourdlike shape before tipping it slightly ok~ axis. The overly elegant handles recall

O-[Watch a podcast interview with Adrian Saxe about Rulers of the Future World on

antique picture frames, while the rough base quotes

the style of traditional Chinese pottery. The work’s

tide shows the attist’s sarcastic mindset: The rulers of

the future world are insects, two of which crawl uP

the cap.

The acceptance of day as an azt medium (rather

than something to shape into dishes) owes a great

deal to the California sculptor Peter Voulkos. He was

trained as a potter and had a studio that sold dishes in

upscale scores until the mid-1950s. Then he began to e~cplore abstract azt, and he found ways to inmrporace some of irs techniques into his ceramic work. At first he took a fresh approach to plates: He flexed them out of shape and scratched their surfaces as if they were painrings, thereby rendering them useless in the tradi- tional sense. We see the ruults of this treavnen[ in his Untitled Plate CR952 (fig. 13.4). His first erzhibition of these works in 1959 caused a great deal of contro- versy because most people did not think of stonewaze as an att medium. Yet none could deny the boldness of his inventions.

Both Peter Voulkos and Toshiko Takaezu were influenced by the earthiness and spontaneity of some traditional Japanese ceramics, as well as by Expressionis[ painting, yea they have taken very diE- ferenc directions. Voulkos’s pieces are rough and


13.4 Perer Youlkos. Untitled Plnu CR952. 1989. Magama wood-Fired sroncware. 20h” X 4~”. Sherry featly Comemporory Art. ~ the Vaults Family Trent.

13.3 Adrian Sale. Ln Roir du mondr furor (Ru/~rr of the Fraure Wodd). 2004. Porcelain, stoneware, overglaze enamel, lusters, mined media. 2G%+” X 13%” X 10″. r~4 Joyd gallery, sumo mw~~w, ehwo: nnd~ny c~~b.



aggressively dynamic, but Takaezu’s Makaha Blue II

(fig. 13.5) offers subtle, restrained strength. By clos-

ing the cop of container forms, she turns vessels into

sculprures, thus providing surfaces for rich paintings

of glaze and oxide. She reflected on her love of the

clay medium:

When working with day I take pleasure from

the process as well as from the finished piece.

Every once in a while I am in [une with the

day, and I hear music, and it’s like poetry.

Thane aze the moments that make pottery

truly beautifiil for me.’

Ceramic processes evolved very slowly until ehe mid-

twentierh century, when new formulations and even

synthetic clays became available. Other changes have

included more accurate methods of firing and less-

coxic techniques and equipment.

Glass Glass has been used for at least four thousand years as a

material for practical containers of all shapes and sizes.

Stained glass has been a favorite in churches and ca[he-

drals since the Middle Ages. Elaborate, blown-glass

pieces have been made in Venice since the Renaissance.

Glass is also a fine medium for decoraxive inlays in a

variety of objects, including jewelry.

Glass is an exotic and enticing art medium. One

art critic wrote, “Among sculptural materials, noch-

ingequals the sheer eloquence of glass. It can assume

any form, cake many textures, dance with color, bask

in clear crystallinity, make lyric of ligh[.”Z

Chemically, glass is closely related to ceramic

glaze. As a medium, however, it offers a wide range

of unique possibilities. Hot or molten glass is a sen-

sitive, amorphous material that is shaped by blow-

ing, casting, or pressing into molds. As it cools, glass

solidifies from its molten state without crystallizing.

After it is blown or cast, glass may be cut, etched,

fused, laminated, layered, leaded, painted, polished,

sandblasted, or slumped (softened for a controlled

sag). The fluid nature of glass produces qualities of

mass flowing into line, as well as translucent volumes

of airy thinness.

The character of any material determines the chazacter of the expression; this statemenx is parcicu- larly true of glazs. Molten glass requires considerable speed and skill in handling. The glassblower combines the centering skills of a potter, the agility and stamina of an a[hlete, and the grace of a dancer to bring quali- cies of breath and movement into crystalline form.

The fluid and translucent qualities of glass are used to the fiillest in Dale Chihuly’s Seafar»u series (fig. 13.6). He produces such pieces wi[h a team of glass aztists working under his direction. In this series, he azranged groups of pieces and carefully directed the lighting to suggest delicate undersea environments.

Chihuly is one of many artists today who treat glass as a sculptural medium, but Mona Hatoum returns us to [he contemplation of usefulness with het provocazive work Nature morte aux grenades (Still Life with Hand Grenades) (Sg. 13.7). She researched the design of various sorts of small explosive devices that the world’s azmies use, and recreated them in color- ful pieces of solid crys[al. She placed these precious- looking objects on a gurney as if they were specimens of some kind, which they aze: specimens ofhumaniry’s cendenry to violence. She used the beauty of glass to represent “useful” objects of a lethal sort.

Metal MecaPs primary characteristics include both streng[h and formability. The various types of meal most often used for crafts and sculpture can be hammered, cut, drawn out, welded, joined with rivets, or cast. Early mecalsmiihs created tools, vessels, azmor, and weapons.

In Muslim regions of the Middle Ease in the [hirteenth and fourteenth centuries, attiscs practiced shaping and inlaying with unparalleled sophistica- tion. The d’Arenberg Basin (fig. 13.8), named after a French collecxor who owned it for many years, was made for the last ruler of the Ayyubid dynasty in Syria in the mid-thirteenth century. The body of the basin was first cast in brass; its extremely intricate design included lowered areas into which precisely cut pieces of silver were placed. Although most of the sJ- ver pieces aze only a fraction of an inch in size, thry enliven a carefiilly patterned design that occupies sev- eral finely proportioned horizontal bands. The lowest band is a decorative patxern based on repeated plant shapes. Above is a row of real and imaginary animals that decorates a relatively nazrov✓ band. The ne~ct band depicts a scene of princely pleasure, as well-attired people play polo. The uppermosx band contains mare plant shapes between the uprights of highly sryliud Arabic script that expresses good wishes to the owner of the piece. A central panel in this upper row depicts a scene from the life of Christ, who is regazded az an important teacher in Islam.


13.5 1’oshiko Takae~u. Makaha Blue IL 2002. Stoneware. 48″ x 18’Fi”. Counery d To:hiko Takae~ Trust o~d Chorks Corks Gallery, NY.

13.6 Dale C6i6uly. Mauve Seaform Set with Black Lip Wrapr.

From the Seaformt series. 1985. Blown glass.

Couriery of the ofisr. Pho~ograPhy by Dick Buahx.

13.7 Mona Ha[oum.

Nature morte aurgrnmder. 2006-2007. Crystal, mild steel, rubber. 38’/e” X Sl%” X 27~”. Phorograph: ~.w.~ doge. Cou.~esy of nl~andar and ean~~, New vo.k.

13.8 The d’Arenberg Basin.

Probably Damascus, Syria. 1247-1249. Brass inlaid with silver. 8’/” X 19’/”. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithwnian InsnN~on, Wo~hingfun, ~C. Fl 955.10.



1 •.1~

13.9 Cal Lane. Untitled (Map 3). 2007. Plasma-cut steel. 78%x'” X 713/4″ Courtesy Som~el Freeman Gallery.

Cal Lane combines some of the inui-

care metalwork of Middle Eastern pieces

with ideas ripped from roday’s headlines, in

works such as Untitled (Map 3) (fig. 13.9).

She worked for years as a welder, a woman

in a traditionally male occupation, and she

used those skills on a 55-gallon oil drum to

create this work. First she flattened it, and

then she cut it to show a map of the world,

with the lid and base of the drum forming

the poles. The oil drum has tremendous

symbolic significance as a source of much

of the world’s energy, wealth, conflicts, and

pollution. This work, with ixs sun-shaped

form at the upper right, suggests the global

dominance of oil in our economy and our

energy. It also creatively transforms a useful

object into an aztwork that comments on

irs own significance.

~:~,; ,’

The living spirit of wood is given

a second life in handmade objects.

Gtowth characretistics of individual

trees remain visible in the grain of

wood long aker trees are cut, giving

wood a vitality not found in other

materials. Its abundance, versatility,

and warm tactile qualities have made

wood a favored marerial for human

use and for art pieces. Like many nat-

utal products, wood can be harvested

in a sustainable manner or a wasteful

one. Many woodworkers today have

moved toward suscainability by using

wood that is already down, or har-

vesced in certified forests.

Henry Gilpin generally makes

furniture on commission, but when

he heazd about a huge elm tree neaz

his studio that had died because of

encroaching wns[mccion, he secured

13.10 I ieor}• Gllpm. Curiowly Red. 2006. Stained elm, pigment, magnea. 3G” X 74″ X 1G”. Cwr~rsy A~. nnisr aid Galley NAGA.


13.11 Liv Blavarp. Urttitled. Necklace, 2002. Dyed sycamore, painted birch, gold Itaf. 11″ X 8″ X 2″. Muuum of AM and Design, NYC. Gik of Barham Tober, 2002Im 2004.1 b. Phoro John Bigelow Tuylar.

a piece of it. He found that the crowded growing con- ditions had caused the wood grains in she tree to cross and twist, so that when he dried the piece it emerged conrotted. He decided to make this casualty of prog- tess into a table by mounting the wazped plank atop a frame (fig. 13.10). The surface is so uneven that this work tided Curiously Red is barely usable. To honor the tree’s sacrifice of its life, he poured red stain over it, and lek the drips to show at the bottom of the legs to ruemble bloodstains. What might at first glance appear

to be a warped side [able thus becomes a meditation on life and death.

We gex another view of wood’s capabilities with the untitled necklace by Liv Bl3varp (6g. 13.11). The aztist carved the segments into deeply grooved shapes that resemble living things. While her work is based on folk traditions of her native Norway, this piece looks very contemporazy. Note also that it is asymmettical, unlike most necklaces, and chat the clasp resembles an animal’s tail.




Fiber Fiber arts include such processes as weaving, stitching,

basketmaking, surface design (dyed and printed tex-

tiles), wearable art, and papermaking by hand. These

fiber processes use natural and synthetic fibers in both

13.12 The Ardabil Carpet Tabriz. 1540. Wool pile on silk wazps and weks. 34′ X 17’6″. Vicrorio and AI6ek Museum, London. ~ V8A Images—All righh re»r ad.

vaditional and innova[ive ways. Artists working with

fiber (like aztists working in any medium) draw on the

heritage of traditional practices and also explore new

avenues of exprccsion. Fiber azts divide into two gen-

eral classes: work made with a loom, and work made

off-loom, or without a loom.

All weaving is based on the interlacing of fibers.

Weavers generally begin with long fibers in place,

called the wazp fibers, which determine the length of

the piece they will create. Often the wazp fibers are

installed on a loom, a device tha[ holds them in place

and may pull them apart for weaving. They cross the

warp fibers ac right angles wi[h weft fibers (rela[ed [o

the word weave). Weavers create patterns by chang-

ing the numbers and placements of interwoven

threads, and they can choose from a variety of looms

and techniques. Simple hand looms can produce very

sophisticated, complex weaves. A large [apestry loom,

capable of weaving hundreds of colors into intricate

forms, may require several days of preparation before

work begins.

Some of [he world’s most spectacular carpets

carne from Islamic Persia during the Safavid dynasty

in the sixteenth century. Here, weavers employed by

royal workshops knotted carefully dyed wool over a

network of sills warps and wefrs. The Ardabll Carpet

(fig. 13.12), long recognized as one of the greatest

Persian carpets, contains about three hundred such

knots, over fine silk threads, per square inch. Thus this

carpet required approximately 25 million knots!

The design of the carpet is centered on a sunburst

surrounded by 16 oval shapes. Two mosque lamps of

unequal size share space with an intricate pattern of

flowers. At the corners of the main field, quarters of

the central design are repeated. A small panel at the

right gives the date and the name of an artist, who

must have been the designer. Mother iasctiption is a

couplet by Hafiz, the best-known lyrical poet in Iran:

“I have no refuge in this world other than thy [hresh-

old. My head has no resting-place other than this

doorway.” The carpet originally covered the floor of a

prayer chapel.

Contemporary artists have not abandoned the

loom; rather, they use it in new ways. A few even

make tapestries, a traditional type of weaving in

which carefully trimmed and dyed weft threads are

pulled through stable warps to create patterns or pic- [ures. Egyptian artist I,ara Baladi creates lazge-scale tapestries that combine hundreds of pictures. Sandouk el Dounia (The World in a Baz) (fig. 13.13), for exarn- ple, was titled after a type of ambulatory street theater practiced in Egypt in the early twentieth century. To form the work, she first created a huge collage of about 900 photographs of costumed and staged scenes that she shot in Cairo, as well as photographs drawn from her personal azchive, taken in many parts of the world. She then photographed the collage and used this high- resolution reproduction to program a digitally opet- ated loom az Flanders Tapestries in Belgium. The pixels of the photograph take on new life as vividly dyed strands of fabric. She at[empts in this multllay- ered piece, she says, “to blur the boundary between the mundane and [he sacred, the private and the public, the pharaonic and the contemporary.”3

13.13 Lara Baladi. Sandouk el Dounia (The World in a Box). 2007. Digitally woven tapestry, 10’4″ X 8’2″/,0″ collage of 900 C41 3’%s” X 5~%nx” prints. Installation view at the eehibition “Penelope’s Labour, Weaving Words and Images,” Cini Foundation, Uenice> 2011. Detail: 25’7″ X 2l’3%0″. Amwh and phob La.0 Boladi.





13.14 Miriam Schapiro.

Pnsonal Appearance N3. 1973.

Acrylic and fabric on canvaz. 60″ X 50″.

Cdleaia~ ~.+ariyn Srokswd, lwnnm, Ka~w:. Cwrresy of Bernice Sreinbavm Gallery, Miami, FL. Phob: Robert Nickerson.

Quilt making has traditionally been a

woman’s province, carried on for generations

in some communities. In the 1970s, some

feminist artists used quilt making as a way of

breaking down the barrier between az~ and

crafr work, feeling that relegating crafr to a

lower status demeaned the achievements of

women throughout history.

Miriam Schapiro borrowed techniques

from quilting for works such as Personal

Appearance #3 (fig. 13.14), which is large

enough to cover a small bed. Its composition

includes a lazge orange rectangle at its center

that describes a bedlike shape, aid the black

13.15 Polly Apklbaum. Flaae~~land Funkytown. 2012. Synthetic crushed velvet pieces. Dimensions variable. CB8595. Caurbry 14ie anise aid diNan &na+enb. Ne+. York.

squue neaz the top is placed like a pillow. The work is exuberant and vibrant, and made pazdy from cloth scraps like a quilt. This was cenainly part of the aro- fist’s intent: to pay homage to quilt makers past and present, by making a work that resembles a quilt in many ways but is not one. The work thus hovers on the brink of usefiilness; ix takes on the appearance of a useful object without e~cacdy being one.

Polly Apfelbaum also uses off-loom techniques to create installations that show the influ- ence of both modern abstract art and feminism. She said that she wanted to do

a contemporary version of the traditional crazy quill, in which random fragments of leftover cloth are stitched roge[her in

dazzling patterns. In this way she claims descent from she women who 6ave va-

ditionally woven and sewn most textiles. In Flatterland Funkytown (8g. 13.15), she used bright colors to stain oval-

shapedpieces of velvet She attached them together to heighten the resemblance to quilts, and then installed them on [he floor

of a gallery. The resulting work resembles a quilt, a cazpet, and a luxurious bed of flower petals. FlanerlanQFunkytown looks

spontaneous, but the creation involved

months of labor. She cut each piece by hand, and applied fabric dye to each part with a squeeze bottle. Her dyeing process resembles painting, but the works she creates are closer [o sculpture and textile att. She sometimes calls her works “fallen

paintings,” because placing the work on the floor allows viewers xo interact wi[h

the work from more angles.

Faith Ringgold uses quilt mak- ing, as well as paintings and soft sculp- tures, to speak eloquently of her life and ideas. Memories of her childhood in Harlem in the 1930s provide much of her subject matter. Mrs. Jones and Family (fig. 13.16) represents Ringgold’s

own family. Commitments to women, the fam- ily, and cross-cultural consciousness aze ac the heart of Ringgold’s work. With playful exuberance and insight, she draws on history, recent events, and her own experiences for her depictions and nazratives of class, race, and gender.

Fiber can be worked in infinite ways, and Chicago-based Nick Cave has likely used them all at one time of another to create his ongoing series

13.16 Fairh Ringgold. Mrs. Jones and Family. 1973. Mixed media. 74″ X 69″. Series: Family of Women Mark 3. CdlMion of Ilse arfisf Foi11i RinggdJ X1997.




Faith Ringgold (b. 1930: Stitching Hisbry

Most quilt makers have worked fo create dazzPing designs from fabric, but Faith Rhoggold innovated by using her own life and heritage fo make quips ghat dell stories. In 1972 she leh a teaching position and began to devote herself full time ~o art. She also began a fenyear collaboration with her mother in the creation of works on loth. Quilt making had been a family tradition as far back as her greatyreat-grandmother, who had made Ihem as a slave in Fbrida, The molher~laughter

team collaborated on a new type o4 textile ad that included images and stories on the sewn fragments.

Ringgold said of quilt making: “It is an art form that slave women used, to embellish and beautify useful objects such as quips. Because the African-American experience with quiltmaking was very much like the African who made the tools roughly, and then adorned them and made them skillfully, so that things were useful, but Then they

were beautified. So here’s that she can fly, that she can somefhing: We re going to do anything she imagines, as sew some loth together to she lies on a blanket with her cover ourselves because we little brother. She dreams that want to keep warm. And now she can give her father the we’re going to beaufi(y those union card that he has been pieces so that we sew them denied because of his race. together and make them into She dreams that she can let quips. So now iYs an art piece, her mother sleep late, and and iYs useful. I really like eat ice cream every day for that.”° dessert. She even dreams that

she can buy the building her Her themes are highly varied. Father works In, and that her Some ore personal and mother will not cry when her autobiographical, such as father can’t find work. The Change: Faith Ringgold’s quip depicts the two children Over 100 Pound Weight on the blanket, and her Loss Performance Srory Quilt. parents playing cards with the Others expose injustice, neighbors next ro a table set such as the Slave Rape with snacks and drinks. We series, which deaf with also see Cassie flying through the mistreatment of African the sky near the top center. Tar women in the slave trade. Bench was later made into a Some are about important childreds book, one of several African-American cultural that Ringgold has written. figures, such as Sonny’s Quilt, which depicts the jazz Asked her view of the saxophonist Sonny Rollins ~a artists function ‘m society, childhood friend, performing Ringgold replied in a way as he soars over the Brooklyn that illuminates Tai Beach: “I Bridge. think the adisPs role is to, in

some ways, document the A standout among the adisl’s limes. Because we look at arr “story quilts” is Tar Beach through history. We can tell ~flg. 13.78 ,which tells the a lot about the time the artist srory of the fictional Cassie, lived by just looking of the an eighhyearold character pictures, or the sculpture that who is based on Ringgod’s they did. And every group own childhood memories of people does this, every of growing up in New York culture of people, every race City. She would go up to the of people does this. Those asphalt roof of her apartment who have highly developed, building ~”Tar Beach”~ with her fascinating cultures create family on hot nights, because arfisls who have the same, there was no air-conditioning because they work together. in the home. Lassie describes So as a black woman, my role Tar Beach as a magical is to speak in my voice as to place, with d 36o-degree race and gender, about the view of tall buildings and the times that I lived in. And I see George Washington Bridge that as a responsibility that I in the distance. She dreams fake on.”s – View the Closer Look for Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach on


13.17 Faith Ringgold, with detail of The Purple Quilt. 1986. c~~e/Fa~~h e~~9goid, i~~.

1318 Faith Ringgold. Tm~ Ue~acf . Part 1 tiom Ifie Women ora a Bridgr series. 1988. Acrylic nn canvas, bordered wi[h printed, painted, quilted, and pieced cloth. 74%” X 68’/x”. Guggenheim Museum, New York. GiN of Mr. and Mn. Gus and Judil4r Lieber O Faith Ringgold 1988.



of Soundsuics (fig. 13.19). These exvavaganc cos-

mmes are all wearable, and over the years they have

included such oftbeac materials as human hair, twigs,

toys, garbage, buttons, dryer felt, stuffed animals,

fake fur, feathers, and Flowers, besides sequins and

beads of all kinds.

In the Soundsui[ shown here, a cloud of ceramic

birds surrounds a body suit of crocheted yarn pieces.

Cave (who is not related to the Aus[ralian musician

of the same name) grew up in a large family where

he personalized the hand-me-down clothing he often

wore. However, the Soundsuiu do the opposite: most

of them completely hide the wearer, thus conferring an

alternate identity. The roots of these pieces are in New

Orleans Mazdi Gras cosrumes and African ceremonial

garments, but in Cave’s hands they become bo[6 e~cu-

beranc and mysterious.

Many contemporary attists aze using media form-

erly associated with crafrs—clay, glass, metal, wood,

and fiber—to create works that challenge the bound-

ary between craft and art. Most of the world’s cultures

do not distinguish between crafr and arc, and Western

culture is gradually moving towazd chat view.

Study and review on 13.19 Nick Cave. Soundcuit. 2009. Mixed media. Height 92″. Pholo: Jw~s Prins. Caurn sy of the arnst aid kck Shainmon Galley, NY.


1. What aze the major types of clay?

2. Who perfected metal inlays in the

thirteenth century?

3. What are the two major classifications of fiber azd


Inventory the ceramics in your home, including

the dishes, ro find out which of the three principal

classifications predominates.


glaze – a silim-based paint for clay that fuses with the clay body on firing; can be almost any cobr, or hanslucem

warp – in weaving, the Threads that run lengthwise in o fobric, crossed al right ongles by the weh

slip -clay That is thinned to the consistency of treom and wek- in weaving, the horizontal threads inferloced used as paint on earthenware or stoneware ceiamia through the warp



14.1 Consider the function of archirecrure to record and reflect a culture’s values.

14.2 Eacplain the need for azchitects [o combine function, form, and structure.

14.3 Identify traditional materials and methods used in architecture.

14.4 Describe the relationship of technological innovations to changes in azchitectural forms and strucrure.

14.5 Recognize the impact of contemporary emitonmenral concerns on architecture.

Among the world’s oldest surviving strucnues is the dol- men in northwestern France pictured here (fig. 14.1). This dolmen was constructed from huge boulders, some set upright and another used as a roof ro create a space. Its most likely function was to house the dead in an enclosed tomb. This bulky structure reaembfes

,.. …

((~~–[Listen to the chapter audio on

others in many parts of the world, inducting the British Isles, Jordan, India, and Korea. Though other dolmens have vazious £unctions, they all share a primitive con- sxruccion technique and a massive appearance.

For at least five [housand years, people have built impressive structures, Gke this dolmen, chat go beyond providing mere shelter. Architecture is thus the art and science of designing and constructing buildings not only for practical purposes but also for symbolic and aesthetic ones. It has great potential for enhancing many aspec[s of our daily lives; from the houses we live in to the places where we work, wor- ship, or spend our leisure time.

In this chapter we will examine the art and craft of architecture, from primitive structures to today’s high-tech creations. We will see that beyond the necessity for shelter, architecture can make important e~cpressive statements that record and communicace a society’s values.

An Art and A Science No matter what sot[ of structure they are building, archicecrs address and integrate three key issues: £unc- tion (how a building is used); form (how it looks); and structure (how it stands up). As an art, azchiteo- cure both crea[es interior spaces and wraps them in an ncpressive shape.


14.1 Dolmen Crocuno, nonh of Camac, France. ~ iyMh/n~ aK~~ nn a ad~~~re calf w.



As a science, azchitectttre is a physics problem: How

does a structure hold up its own weight and the loads

placed on it? Architecture must be designed to with-

stand the forces of compression, or pushing (—~ ~—);

tension, or saetching (~ —~); and bending, or curving

({, ,~); and any combination of these physical forces.

Like the human body, architecture has three

essential components. These are a supporting skel-

eron; anouter skin; and operating equipment, similaz

to the body’s vital organs and systems. The equipment

includes: plumbing; electrical wiring; appliances; and

sys[ems Eor cooling, heating, and circulating air as

needed. In earlier centuries, structures of wood, earth,

brick, or scone had no such equipment, and the skel-

eton and skin were often one.

Traditional Materials and Methods The evolution of architectural techniques and styles

has been determined by the materials available and by

the changing needs and values of societies. In ancient

times, when nomadic hunter-gatherers became farm-

ers and village dwellers, housing evolved kom caves,

hors, and tents ro more substantial sttuc[ures.

Because early building designers (as well as those

in nonindustrialized countries today) made struc-

cures only out of the materials at hand, regional styles

developed that blended with their sites and climates.

Modern transportation and the spread of advanced

technologies now make it possible

to build almost anything anywhere.

14.2 Great Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe.

Before 1450. Height ofwa1130′.

a. Plan. b. Interior.


~~~~ N 4 I

~’J • / o sore~ 0 15m ~S~dA~.


Wood, Sbne, and Brick Since the beginning of history, most structures have

been made of wood, stone, earth, or brick. Each of

these natural materials has its own strengths and weak-

nesses. For example, wood, which is light, can be used

for roof beams. Stone, which is heavy, can be used for

load-bearing walls but is less effective as a beam. Much

of the world’s major architecture has been constructed

of stone because of its permanence, availability, and

beauty. In the past, entire cities were slowly built by

cutting and placing stone upon scone.

Dry Masonry Probably the simplest building technique is to pile

s[ones atop one another, as we saw with the dol-

men above. The process has been used to make such

rudimentary structures as markers, piles, and cairns

throughout the world. When such massing is done

with a consiscent pattern, the result is called masonry.

In dry masonry, where no mortar is used, the weight

of the scones themselves holds the structure up. If xhe

stones are cut or shaped before use, they are dressed.

Grea[ Zimbabwe (“Great Stone House”) in East

Africa (fig. 14.2) is an elliptical structure that gave its

name ro the wunuy in which it is located. Probably built

between 1350 and 1450 ce, it was used for about three

hundred yeazs. Grew Zimbabwe is nearly round, with

several wnical structures inside whose original function

is still unknown. Irs walls, made of dressed local stone, aze apprmcimately 30 feet high. For added stability, the walls were built up to 15 feet thick at the base, taper- ing slightly toward the top. Roofing was probably grass or thatch held together with sticks. The structure is the largest oFa group of ancient stone dwellings chat Formed a trading city of perhaps twenty thousand people at its height. Though the outer wa1Ls of Great Zimbabwe have openings in selected locations for entry and e~cic, there aze no windows; because these tend to weaken masonry walls, only svucrures that aze considerably smaller can use them without ctternal support.

Great Zimbabwe is the laigesc ancient stone struc- ture in Africa south of the great pyramids of Egypt, which aze also built of dry masonry (see Chapter 15). Other notable examples of such buildings aze Machu Picchu in Pem (see Chapter 20) and the ancient pueblos of the American Southwest, such as Mesa Uerde.

Post and Beam Prior ro the twentieth century, two dominant stmc- tural types were in common use: post-and-beam (also called post-and-lintel); and arch systems, including the wdult. Most of the world’s azchicecture, including mod- ern steel structures, has been built with post-and-beam construction (6g. 14.3). Verrical pos[s or columns sup- potthorizontal beams and carry [he weight of the entire structure to the ground.

The form of posyand-beam buildings is deter- mined by the strengths and weaknesses of the marer- ials used. Stone beam lengths must be shott, and posts relatively thick ro compensate for stone’s brio- cleness. Wood beams may be longer, and posts thin- ner, because wood is ligh[er and more flexible. The strength-to-weight ratio of modern steel makes it pos- sible robuild with faz longer beams and thus to create much lazget interior spaces.

Bundled reeds provided the model for the mon- umental posyand-beam Egyptian [emples. A row of columns spanned, or connected, by beams is called a colonnade, as seen in the Colonnade and Court of Amenhotep III (fig. 14.4). Most ancient Egyptian temples were symmetrical, with aisles for processions that connected adjacent pavilions. Their arrangement was also generally hierarchical, with the more remote ptecinc[s accessible only to the higher-ranking priests.

143 Posrand-Beam Consrruaion.

Following the lead of the Egyptians, the Greeks further refined stone post-and-beam construction. For more than nvo thousand years, xhe magnificence of the Parthenon and other classical Greek architec- mre (see Chapter 16) has influenced the designers of a great many later buildings.

Round Arch, Vault, and Dome Both Egyptian and Greek builders had to place their columns relatively close together because stone is weak under the load-bearing stresses inherent in a beam. The invention of the round azch (fig. 14.5) allowed builders to transcend this limitation and create new architectural Forms. An arch may be suppoaed by either a column or a pier, a more massive version of


14.4 Colonnade and Court ofAmenhotep III. Temple of Amun-Muo-Khonsu. I Sch dynasty. Lmcor, Thebes, Egype x1390 sce. a5wi, o~~n o oali~g Ki~d~~ley.

eerer Gr~c,d~jk/Ra6en Hard’~~g.



14.6 Barrel Vault. 14.8 Aicadc

n-[Watch an architectural simulation of barrel and groin vaults on

a column. When e~ccended in depth, the round arch

creaees a tunnel-like structure called a bazrel vault

(fig. 14.6). Roman builders perfected the round arch

and developed the groin vault (fig. 14.x, formed by

the intersection of two barrel vaulu.

A vault is a curving ceiling or roof structure, tra-

ditionally made of bricks or blocks of stone tigh[ly

fitted to form a unified shell In recent times, vaults

have been constructed of materials such as cast

reinforced concrete.

Early civilizations of western Asia and the

Mediterranean area built azches and vaults of brick,

chiefly for underground drains and tomb chambers.

But the Romans were the first m use the arch excen-

sively in above-ground strucxures. They learned the

technique of stone azch and vault construction from

the Etruscans, who inhabited cenaal Italy between

750 and 200 aca.

A round stone arch can span a longer distance and

support a heavier load than a stone beam because the

arch transfers the load more efficiently. The Roman

arch is a semicircle made from wedge-shaped stones

fitted together with joints ac right angles to the curve.

During construction, [emporary wooden supports

carry the weight of the stones. The final stone chat is

set in place ac the top is called the keystone. When the

keystone is placed, a continuous arch with load-bearing

capacity is created and the wood support is removed.

A series of such arches supported by columns Forms an

arcade (fig. 14.8).

Roman builders used the arch and arcade to create

structures of many types throughout their vast empire

in most of Europe, the Neu East, and North Africa.

The aqueduct bridge called the Pont du Gard, near

Nimes, France (fig. 14.9), is one of the finest remain-

ing examples of the functional beauty of Roman engi-

neering. The combined height of the three levels of

arches is 161 feet. Dry masonry blocks, weigFung up

ro 2 tons each, make up the large arches of the two

lower tiers. Water was once carried in a

conduit at the top, with the first level

serving as a bridge for traf~’ic. The excel-

lence of its design and construction hu

kept this aqueduct standing for nvo

thousand years.

14.9 Ponc du Gard. Nimes, France. 15 ce. Limestone. Height 16l “, length 902”. a~~Ph: aqua a..b~,.

~t> [Watch a video about the Poni du Gard on

n-[Watch an architectural simulation of the round arch on

a. Dome (arch rotated 180″).

6. Dome on a cylinder.

c. Dome on penden[ivg.

14.10 Dome.

Roman uchitects boaowed Greek column design

t and combined it with the arch, enabling them to gready increase the vaziety and size of their azchirec-

rural spaces. The Romans also introduced liquid con-

crete as a material for architecture. Concrete is a mix- mre of water, sand, gravel, and a binder such as lime or

gypsum. Cheap, stonelike, versatile, and strong, con- crere allowed the Romans to cut vests, speed conscruc- tion, and build on a massive scale.

M azch rotated 180 degrees on its vertical axis cre- ates adome (£ig.14.10). Domes maybe hemispherical or pointed. In general usage the word dome refers to a

hemispherical vault built up from a circular or polygo- nal base. The weight of a dome pushes downward and outward all around its circumference. Therefore, the

‘ simples[ support is a cylinder with walls thick enough to resist the downwazd and ounvazd thrust.

One of the most magnificent domes in the world was designed for the Byzan[ine cathedral of ~agia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) in Istanbul (8g. 14.11). It was built in the sixth century as the central sanctu- ary of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. Aber the Islamic conquest of 1453, (rowers) were added and is was used as a mosque. It is now a museum. The dome of Hagia Sophia rests on curving triangulaz sections called pendentives over a square base.

r Hagia Sophias distinctive dome appears to float on a halo of light—an effect produced by the row of


14.11 Hagia Sophia. 532-535. Istanbul, Turkey. a. Exterior. Phdognph: Ayhan AINn.

b. Interior. Hwbgmph: Ayhon Altun.



windows encircling its base. Pendentives carry the enor-

mous weight from the circulaz base of the upper dome

downwazd to a squaze formed by supporting walls.

Pointed Arch and Vault Abet the round arch, the pointed azch was the next

great structural advance in the Western world. This

new shape seems a small change, but it had a spectac-

ular effect on the building of cathedrals. Vaults based

on the pointed azch made it possible to build wider

aisles and higher ceilings. We see the results of this

new technology in the awesome heighx of the central

aisle in the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Char~res,

France (fig. 14.12).

A pointed azch (or Gothic arch, fig. 14.13) is

steeper than a round arch, and therefore sends its

weight more directly downwazd, but a substantial side-

ways thrust must still be countered in tall buildings.

Gothic builders accomplished this by constructing

elaborate supports called buttresses at right angles ro

the outer walls. In the most developed Gothic cathe-

drals, the outward force of the arched vault is cazried

to large buttresses by scone half-arches called flying

buttresses (fig. 14.14).

By placing part of the structural skeleton on the

outside, Gothic builders were able [o make their cathe-

drals higher and lighter in appeuance. Because the

added external support of the buttresses relieved the

14.12 Notre-Dame de Chartres. Chartres, France.

1145-1513. Interior, nave. Height 122′, width 53′, lengrh 130′. ~ rhea xab, p~~e.

14.t3 GothicAcch.

flying buttress


14.14 Flying Buttresses.

cathedral walls of much of their sttucmral function, lazge parts of the wall could be replaced by enormous stained-glass windows, allowing more light (a symbol of God’s presence) to enter the sanctuary. From the floor of the sanctuary ro the highest part of the inrerior above the main altar, [he windows increase in size. Stones carved and assembled to form thin ribs and pillars make up the elongated columns along the nave walls, which emphasize verticality and give the cathedral its apparent upward thrust. (We will consider the stylistic feawtes of Gothic azchitecture in more detail in Chapter 16J

After the Gothic pointed arch and vault, no basic structural technique was added to the Western azchitectural vocabulary until the nineteenth century. Instead, azchitects designed a variety oFstruaures–at times highly innovative–by combining elemen[s hom different periods. Forms and ornamentation from the classical and Gothic periods were revived again and again and given new life in different conteacrs.

Truss and Balloon Frame Wood has a long hisrory as a building material. Besides the expected post and beam, timbers or logs have been used for centuries in trusses (fig. 14.15). A truss is a viangular framework used to span or to suppor[. The perfection of mass-produced nails and mechani- cal saws in the nineteenth century led to advances in wood construction; the most impottant of these was the balloon frame (fig. 14.16). In balloon fram- ing, heavy timbers aze replaced with thin studs held rogether only with nails, leading to vastly reduced con- scrnction time and wood consumption. (Old-timers who were unwilling to use the new method called it

~ ~~~

~► .,.~ ~ ~~~~~I~ ~~_ : ~ ~ ~ ~I~I-I11 Al i~ “/

,~ \ `~I I


14.16 Balloon Frarne.

balloon framing because they thought is was as fragile as a balloon.) The method helped to make possible the rapid settlement of North America’s western frontier and is still used in suburban new construction today.

Modern Materials and Methods Beginning in about 1850, modern materials have revolueionized architecture. The techniques (post and beam, arch, vault) have remained the same, but the azrival of cast iron, steel, and reinforced wncrete have provided a wealth of new ways ro create and organic spaces. More recently, some even newer materials, such as carbon fiber and cross-laminated timber, are shaping the buildings that we use.

Cast Iron Iron has much greater strength than scone or wood and can span much lazger distances. After the technol- ogy for uniform smelting was perfected in the nine- teenth century, cast and wrought iron became impor- tant building materials. Iron supports made possible lighcer exterior walls and more Nacible interior spaces because walls no longer had to bear structural weight. Architects first used this new material in factories, bridges, and railway stations.

The Crystal Palace (88.14.17), designed by Joseph Paacton, was a spectaculaz demonstration of what cast iron weld do. Ic was built for the Great E~ibition of the Works of Industry of All Nazions, the first inrer national exposition, held in London in 1851. Designed co show offche latest mechanical inventions, the Crystal Palace was bulls in six months and covered 19 acres of pazk land. This was the first time new industrial meth- ods and materials were used on such a scale.

Pa~cton used relatively lightweight, factory-made modules (standard-size structural units) of cast iron and glass. By freeing himself from past sryles and masonry construction, he created a whole new architectural vocabulary. The light, decorative quality of the glass and cast-iron units was created not by applied ornamen[ation, but by the struc- mre itself. Paxton, inspired by leaf structures, said, “Nantre gave me the idea.” The modular units pro- vided enough fle~cibility for the entire structure to be assembled on the site, right over catisting trees, and later disassembled and moved across town.




14.17 Joseph Pa~ccoa Crystal Palace. London. 1851851. Cast iron and glass. 1Fre IJewbeny IiMvry. %wme.oph: Stuck hbnbgo, Mc.

~-[Watch an architectural simulation about cast-iron construction on

Unfortunately, the building also showed the great

defect of early caso-iron buildings: The unprotected

meral scmu tend to buckle on exposure to heat, mak-

ing such buildings very susceptible to destmction by

fire. The Crystal Palace indeed burned in 1936 afrer a

fire broke out in i[s interior.

Steel and Reinforced Concrete The next breakthrough in construction methods for

large suuctures came between about 1890 and 1910

with the development of high-strength structural

steel, used by itself and as the reinforcing material

in reinforced concrete. The extensive use of cast-iron

skeletons in the mid-nineteenth century had prepared

the way for multistory steel-frame construction in the

late 1880s.

Steel frames and elevarors, together with rising

urban land values, impelled a fresh approach to struc-

ture and form. The movement began to take shape

in commercial azchitecture, symbolized by eazly sky-

sctapers, and found one of its first opportunities in

Chicago, where the big fire of 1871 had cleared the

way for a building boom.

Leading [he Chicago school was Louis Sullivan,

regarded as the first great modern azchitect. Sullivan

rejected references to past buildings, and sought co

meet the needs of his time by using new methods and

materials. He had a major influence on the eazly devel-

opment of what became America’s and the twentieth

century’s most original contribution to architecture:

the “skyscraper.”

Among the first of these skyscrapers was Sullivan’s

Wainwright Building (fig. 14.18) in St. Louis,

Missouri, which was made Possible by the invention

of the elevator and by the development of steel for the

stmcmral skeleton. The building boldly breaks with

nineceenrh-century tradition. Its exterior design reflects

the internal sreel kame and emphasizes the height of

the structure by underplaying horiwntal elements in

favor oEtall vertical shafrs. Sullivan demonstrated his

sensiriviry and adherence to the harmony of traditional

architecture by dividing the building’s fa4ade into

three distinct zones, reminiscent of [he base, shaft, and

capital of Greek columns (see fig. 16.6). These areas

also reveal the vazious functions of the building, with

shops at the base, offices in the central section, and

utility rooms at the top. The heavily ornamented band

at the top stops the vertical thrust of the piers located

between the office windows.

Thus, the e~cteriot form of the building shows its

interior functions; this was a novel concept. Sullivan’s

observation that “form ever follows function”‘

~–[View the Closer Look for the Wainwright Building on

14.19 I.e Corbusier.

Domino Cons[mceon System. Perspettive

drawing for Domino Housing Projec[. 1914. ~ 2013 Arlish Rights Sociey IAR51, W« York/ADAGP, Pons/F.LC.

eventually helped architects to break with their reli- ance on past styles and co rethink azchirecture from the inside out.

In this spirit, modern architecture azose in Europe between 1910 and 1930. Younger architects rejected decorative ornamentation and references to the put, as well as traditional stone and wood construction, and they began to think of a building as auseful arrange- ment of spaces rather than as a mass. The resulting Intemadonal Style expressed the function of each building, its underlying structure, and a logical (usu- allyasymmetrical) plan that used only modern mareri- als such as concrere, glass, and steel.

The French architect and planner Le Corbusier showed the basic components of steel columns and reinforced-concrete slabs in a system that he called the Domino Consmtction System (fig. 14.19). The six steel supports are placed in conuete slabs at the sazne apprmcimate locations as [he spo[s on a domino game piece. Le Corbusier’s idea of supporting floors and roof on interior load-bearing columns instead of load- beatingwalls made it possible to vary the placement of interior walls according to how the various rooms were used. He called one of his homes a “machine for living in,” but in fact its flexible spaces made it very com- forrable. And because walls no longer bore any weight, they mould become windows and let in a great deal of natural light.


14.18 Louis Sullivan. Wainwright Building.

Si. Louis, Missouri. 1890-1891. man ~ Fib/cows. ai R~Bhn R~~.

14.20 Walrer Gropius. Bauhaus Building. Excerior. 192Cr1927. Vonn. Ar<hrve/CORB15. O 2013 Artiste Righh Sociey ~ARS~, Ne+. Ywk/VG BildKunY, Bonn.



Wal[er Gropius used the principles of the

In[ernational Sryle in his new building for the Bauhaus

when the design school moved to Dessau, Germany

(fig. 14.20). The workshop wing, built between 1925

and 1926, follows the basic concept illustrated in I.e

Corbusier’s drawing. Because the reinforced-concrete

floors and roof were suppotted by steel columns set

back from the outer edge of the building, exterior

walls did not have ro carry any weight: thry could be

curtain walls made of glass. Even interior walls were

non-load-beazing and could be placed anywhere they

were needed.

Generally the public was slow to accept the

stripped-down look of the new International Sryle.

In response, architects developed a more decorative

and exuberant style in she 1920s and 1930s called Art

Deco. This style used some of the structural tenets of

the Intemazional Style, but retained decoration, of[en

in an abstract style. The Kress Building (fig. 14.21)

in Hollywood, California, for example, rises up to



14.22 Steel-Frame Cons[ruc[ion.

a vaulted ceiling at the top floor, adorned by shapes absuacted from growing fruit trees.

Le Corbusier’s idea for alleviating urban crowd- ing by using tall, narrow buildings surrounded by open space, and Sullivan’s concept for high-rise build- ings that express the grid of their supporting steel- frame construction (fig. 14.22), came together in the Seagram Building (fig. 14.23). Non-load-beazing glass walls had been a major feature of plans fot sky- scrapers conceived as early as 1919, but only in [he 1950s, wieh greater public acceptance of modern architecture, could such sxructures be built. In the Seagram Building, interior floor space gained by xhe height of the building allowed the architects ro leave

‘ a lazge, open public area at the base. The vertical lines emphasize the height and provide a strong pattern that is capped by a [op section deigned to give a sense of

~ completion. The austere design embodies archirect Mies van der Rohds famous scatemenx “Less is more.”

The International Style had an enormous, iF sometimes negative, influence on world architecture. It ofren replaced unique, place-defining regional styles. By mid-century, modern architec[ure had become synonymous with the style. The uniformity of glass- covered rectilinear grid strucrures was considered xhe appropriate formal dressing for the anonymity of the modern corporation.

Recent Innovations In the laze twen[iech century, improved construction tecluiiques and macerials, new theories regarding struc- tural physics, and computer analyses of the strengths and weaknesses in complex structures led to the fiuther development of fresh architectural forms.

Suspension structures were known for decades through their use in tents and bridges, but the most


14.23 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson.

Seagram Building. New York. 1956-1958. Phwogmph: Mdrew Gam.

14.21 Edwazd F. Sibbert. Kress Building. Hollywood, California. 1935. Photograph: Patrick Frank.



dramatic recent use of this technique in a major pub-

lic building was in the Jeppesen Terminal Building at

Denver Incerna~ional Airport (fig. 14.24). Its roof is

a giant tent composed of 15 acres of woven fiberglass,

making it one of the largest suspension buildings on

Earth. This whine roofing material

lets in lazge amounts of natural light

wi[hout conducting heat, and it is

coated with Teflon for water resis-

tance and easy cleaning. Its exterior

design was inspired by the snow-

capped Rocky Mountains, which are

visible from inside.

In recen[ years, art museums

have become showplaces for cutting-

edge architecture. Frank Gehry’s

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

(fig. 14.25), is more like a piece of

functional sculpture. The develop-

ment of computer graphics and

modeling applications in the 1980s

made possible this design, which the

architect called a “metallic flower.” It

is a drama[ic limestone and [itanium-

clad cluster of soaring, nearly-dancing

volumes that clima~c in a gigantic,

glass-enclosed atrium. Museum

direcxor Thomas Krens envisioned

a museum that would celebrate

the ever-evolving, often large-scale

inventions of leading contemporary

artists, while also featuring the art

of architecture. Two other e~camples

of museum archiceccure are the

Museum of Contemporary Art,

Denver (see fig. 14.30), and the

Modern Wing of the Art Institute

of Chicago (see fig. 2531).

Architecture’s first techni-

cal innovation of the twenty-first

century is carbon fiber, and it

may have an important impact

on how we build in the future. Scientists found that

heating carbon atoms in an oxygen-free environ-

men~ fuses them together into some of the ligho-

est and strongest materials yet discovered. Certain

aircraft parts, racing car bodies, and bicycle frames

already use carbon fiber. Shaping this fiber care-

fully and coating ii with polyester or nylon yields

a new material that can literally be woven co

create a building.

The Tokyo fiirm Atelier Bow-Wow recently created a public seminar space using carbon fiber (fig. 14.26). All of this building’s components are ligh[ enough to be handled by one person easily. The BMW Guggenheim Lab can shelter talks, exhibi~ions, diswssions, screen- ings, and workshops; all of the implements for such functions are stored in the upper portion on pulleys, to be raised or lowered as needed. The building’s lightness was advantageous, because it eventually housed semi- nars on three continenu.

Some old materials are also getting new treatments in the twenty-first century. Cross-laminated timber (CL1~ uses wood in a new way, by laminating slabs of wood with their grains at an angle. This makes wood as strong as wncrece, but much lighcec CLT slabs can range up to 11 inches chick and 60 feet long, and their Ile:cibIliry makes them more earthquake resistant than concrete. Using vees harvesxed from sustainable forests also makes CLT acarbon-neutral building material.

The Alex Monroe jewelry store in London (fig. 14.27) is built of CLT, with the ground floor designed to harmonize with the surrounding shops. This floor is a showroom, while the upper floors house workshops and meeting rooms. Using prefab- ricated slabs brought ro the site, builders erected the studio in only one week.

14.26 Atelier Bow-Wow. BMW Guggenheim Lab. 2Q11-

2012. Berlin, Germany.

Open-au, carbon fiber

s[ructure. Phoro: Chrixfian Richkrs ~ 2012 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.


14.27 DSDHA. Alez Monroe jewelry store. 2011. Snowsfields, London. Phwo ~ Dennis Gi16enMEW.

14.24 Fentress-Bradbum Archixects. Jeppese~ Terminal

Building. Denver International Airpor[. 7994. W,onB.aP6 P.~~dad ~e~.a:y or ~» ogre, mre,~no~a~ a,~n.

14.25 Frank O. Gehry. Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Bilbao, Spain. 1997. Phobgmph by Erika Bamhono Ede m fh1GB Guggenheim Bilbao Mused.



Xten Architecture: Shaping a Building

Some architectural offices are such flan, created in 2000 as sustainoble technologies to of the site. The main floor based more on collaboraFlon a padnershlp with offices in create buildings that are “strong includes administrafive spaces between architects than on the California and Switzerland. sculptural forms of the scale of and a library, above two insights and vision of a single Besides collaboration, their the landscape,”~ acmrding to levels of storage underground. creator. Xten Architecture is one practice emphasizes using their statement This allows the landscape to

dominate the exterior views, The State Archive in lucerne provides better security, and outgrew its quarters in 201 1 , greatly reduces heating and and decided fo move to a cooling needs for the stored new lomtion in a new building documents, some of which that would enable better use date from the Middle Ages. of digital technology Xten The main floor is shaped to Architecture proposed this provide both views fo the design as an entry in an outside and a pleasing profile international competition. {rom the exterior. These working The notes and plans from the spaces occupy the south and project show haw if took form. east sides of the building, fo

maximize natural daylight The Archive site is located on illuminaflon. The diagram also an inlersecfion of Iwo major envisions a Phase 2, with streets, and it slopes dowry expanded underground storage ward away from the corner on the north side.

14.28a Xten Archicecmre. Proposal for State Archive. Fig. 14.28a~. As the process Lucerne, Switzerland. 2011. diagram shows ~$g. 14.286, The ground plan Fig. 14.28t~ Bird’s eye view. the design evolved from a shows entry from the east Qek~,

basic rectangle of one end under a large covered porch


%- ., i~ r, I y. i t ~ ~-



~ ~ ✓


14.286 Process Diagram.

to protect from the elements, which leads directly to a library with nvo glass walls. The reading room is on the same level, but It sits at the base of a 0 ow 33-oot tower that rises ~ ‘, above. This tower is aligned ~~ facing northward, with a large ~~ t.~rt~ high window to admit light ——~- ~ — Northern natural light is more ~~ wnsfant than southern, and it Is always indirect, an imporfan~ ‘~ ~k ~ consldera~ion for document ‘, conservation. The back wall of ‘, this tower is angled ro reflect ‘, the light downward. Bemuse ‘, the site occupies a slight rise, __._ many exterior windows have a ‘I. ~- ‘ _ __ view of the city. – I – ~’ -~-‘

The bird’s eye view Isee ‘~ fig. 14.28a) show the ~~ ~roN building’s striking facade, ~° ‘, which is mostly determined by the usage of the spaces that it ~, frames. The architects resisted ‘~ the Idea thoY a storage facility ‘, .,~~, should resemble a fortress. This ‘, view shows the entry with its ‘, covered porch. We see the reading room tower with its sloping back wall above.

The design calls for a concrete exterior, poured on-site with controlled and layered irregularities in the mix. This allows the building to show sedimentation that reflects both the local soil and the gently sloping landscope nearby.

We will never know how ,, the building actually looks, because th -s des gn did not win the compehfion the fury voted “^`” for a building with more above- ` “•”,^•.'”‘°•’^”°’ ground storage. Buf the Xfen project was widely commented on in ~e architecture press and won several awards. 14.28c Ground Plan.



~~;?: ;

..,,._ ,i




Designing with Nature Most of the stylistic revolutions of the twentieth

cenrury did not consider a building in relation to its

environment. An early exception to this trend was the

work of American Frank Lloyd Wrigh[, one of the

most important (and iwnoclastic) uchicects of the era.

Wright was among the first co use open planning in

houses, even before the International Sryle took hold

(see his Robie House, fig. 22.26). Wright eliminated

walls between rooms, enlazged windows, and discov-

ered that one of the best ways to open aclosed-in room

was [o place windows in corners. With these devices,

he created flowing spaces that opened to the out-

doors, welwmed natural light, and related houses to

their sites and climates. Sliding glass doors were influ-

enced by the sliding paper-covered doors in traditional

Japanese azchicecrure.

Wright also made extensive use of the cantilever

to unite indoor and outdoor spaces. When a beam or

slab is extended a substantial distance beyond a sup-

porting wlumn or wall, the overhanging portion is

called a cantilever. Before the use of steel and rein-

forced concrete, cantilevers were not used xo a signifi-

canc degree because the available materials could not

extend faz enough to make the concept viable.

One of the boldest and most elegan[ uses of the

principle occurs in Wrigh[‘s Kaufmann Residence (also

known as Fallingwater) a[ Bear Run, Pennsylvania

14.29 Fcank Lloyd Wright. Fallingwater (Edgar Kaufman

Residence). Beat Run, Pennsylvania. 1936. Mike W6ei/Alamy ~ 2013 Fmnk Iloyd Wright Faundalion, &Whdale, AZ/Apish Rights Sociey (ARSE, NY.

~~°—{Explore the architectural panorama of Fallingwatet on

(fig. 14.29). Horizontal masses cantilevered from sup-

portingpiers echo the rock ledges on the site and seem

almost ro float above the waterfall. Vertical accents

were influenced by surrounding tall, straight trees.

The intrusion of a building on such a beautiful loca-

tion seems justified by the humony Wright achieved

between the natural site and his equally inspiring


Building with an awareness of the surroundings

is a generally accepted basic practice today. We see a

contemporary e~cample of such thinking in the recent

project for the State Archives of Lucerne, Switzerland

(see fig. 14.29). Xcen Architecture took account of

the slope, soil, and sunshine ac the site, along with the

special needs of a document storage facility. Located

on a terrace overlooking the city center, the azchitects

shaped the project in accordance with usage and envi-

ronmental needs.

Contemporary Approaches Increasing numbers of architects in recent years are

thinking of ways to reduce the impact of building

on the environment, and to make the interiors more


1430 David Adjaye. Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver.

Denver, Colorado. 2007. Photo 6y Deon Koufman, co~rlay Muuum of ConRmporory M, Denver.

healthful. In the United States, the Green Building

Council gives annual awards for leadership in environ- menta(ly sensitive design. Architects can submit their

plans to the Council for rating, and the Council usigns points for such factors as hazmony with prevailing

wind or sunshine patterns, indoor energy efficienry,

use of reryded water, and reduction of transportation

costs for materials. The Council then makes annual awards for Leac{ership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), presenting Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum awards each year to projects that reach

designated point levels.

Some museums have joined the quest to build green. The Museum of Contemporary Att, Denver (fig. 14.30), sits atop acleaned-up hazazdous waste site. Heating comes from a radiant floor; cooling is a low-energy evaporative cooler rather than an air condi-

[ioner. But the majority of its exterior wall is a double- skin facade, which reduces the need for both heao- ing and cooling. The roof is a green garden planced with local native species. Twenty percent of its build- ing materials come from recycled sources. Using 32

percent less energy than a compazable conventional

structure, this museum is the greenest yet built, and it

euned a Gold rating.

The mkSolaire Home by Michelle Kaufmann (fig. 14.31) represents the leading edge in green single- family home design. This prefabricated house can be

placed on a wide variety of sites in an orientation co

maYimiu sunlight. It uses the most efficient insulation

available, and window placements maximize cross-

ven~ilation. On-demand waeer heaters, low-flow fix- tures, and a green roof also reduce energy demands. The architect certifies that this home, depending

on where is is located, will earn either a Gold or a Platinum certification.

Most skyscrapers, with their heavy structural

skeletons, sealed interior environments, and glassy

exteriors, are very energy-inefficienx. But the Aqua Tower in Chicago (fig. 14.32) incorporates several

green characteristics cha[ emboldened the owner

to seek LEED Cer[ification. The curving balconies chat give the residential tower such a s[riking appeaz-

ance also have a practical function: They reduce the

building’s sway ut windstorms, so that the structural

suppoas on the upper floors can use less material.

Heaaresistant glass reduces the need for air condi- tioning in summer The three-story entrance pavilion at the base has an 80,000 square-foot garden on its roof, a literal “patch of green:’ Inside the building,

the apartments have sustainable bamboo floors and

energy-efficien[ appliances. A 24-car electric vehicle-

chazging system awaits drivers in the basement. In addition to their high efficiency, all these green

buildings look good; but not all green buildings appear

innovative from the outside. This is because some

designers prefer co take the greenest route: to redesign e~sting buildings rather than build new ones.


1431 Michelle Kaufmann. mkSolaire Home. 2008.

Prefabricated house. A: ed,lbi+ad at Muuvm of Saence and I~du:my, CM~afp. Phoro by loh~ 5.,win Phwogrcphy, wunery of Mchelle Kaufinan~.



Architecture is a frequently overlooked artform

because it is generally considered a necessity rather

than an eacpressive statement. As we have seen in the

eacamples above, however, it is bo[h. As the attform xhat

surrounds us in our daily lives, architecture has long

made human survival both possible and enjoyable.

~.—Study and review on


i . What aze the traditional methods of construction

used in architec~ure?

7. What impact has the development of

high-strength stmcmral steel had on architecture?

3. How are environmental concerns affetting

azchitecture today?


canfilever -abeam or slab projecting a substantial

dlslance beyond lts supporting post or wall

colonnade – a row of columns usually spanned or

connected by beams

International Syle – an architectural style that emerged

in several European counties behveen 1910 and 1920; characterized by the use of modern materials (concrete, glass, steel, avoidance of appl~,ed decoration, and focus on a buirJing’s inner uses


We come to understand a buIlding through a

succession of experiences in time and space. To

do this we must explore buildings inside and out.

Walk around your house or apanmen[. How do you

respond to the entrance? The height of the ceilings?

Wall and floor colors, xe~crures, marerials? Window

sizes and placements?

masonry building technique in which crones or bricks are laid atop one another in d pattern

post-and-beam system-stmctural system in which uprights or posts suppod a horizontal beam that spans the space between them

truss – a sfmdurol framework of wood or metal based on a triangular system, used ro span, reinforce, or support walls, ceilings, piers, or beams

vauU – a curving masonry roof or ceiling constructed on the principle of the arch


• ~ ~

~~ ~~

~~ ~ Part Three~.y 1;



a~~~ ~~_.; ~~• From the Earliest Art to the Bronze A eJ.~.~ ~, ,: f

‘~~~t}’;.~`~`~ The Classical and Medieval West

‘ ~’r ,+`<.. ~ Renaissance and Baroque Europe

~, ;”~ t~` Traditional Arts of Asia ;, i. v ~.~

c j;a,~~: ;::.’,.

The Islamic World

i ~’~ Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

~ ~~~’~c~; .

,9Qp̀ ss~~ ~~~ ~

~~”~y~.e~ a ~,


14.32 Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang Archirects.

Aqua Tower. Chicago, Illinois. 2010. Ste.e Hall ~ Hejrich Blessing. Cartksy of SNdio Gag Archikch.

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