"Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air and deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves; the echo of a distant time came willowing across the sand and everything is green and submarine"

Pink Floyd

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reading Comprehension 7

The artwork of Susan Mullhally and Elihu Vedder display several themes of modernistic views. The “Study for the Heart of the Rose”, by Elihu Vedder displays characteristics of an implied aedicule where as the boundary of the rose offers a protective commodity for the body to lie in. The rose is a feminine flower and the symbolism of the naked female body in the fetal position can be linked. The fetal position is to display the curled innocence of a child and subconscious necessity for security and safety. The lack of clothing exhibits the insecurity of the adult form in its bare state. The femininity of the rose is to resemble the security of the womb; as the flower represents the personification of the plant’s female reproductive parts. It is if the flower has given birth to the feminine form. The connection to modernism is evident in the artwork. “Seeking forms that echo images dwelling deep in the human subconscious” (Roth, p.587). Mario Botta displays his “need for images, for emotion in architecture” (Roth, p.587); in the Evry Cathedral in France. The walls blossom upwards surrounding the centrality of the temple and provide the flower for the geometric rigidity stemmed brickwork below. This is a protective form providing purpose for the building to house its most important part; the people inside.
Elihu Vedder, “Study for the Heart of the Rose”

Mario Botta, Evry Cathedral

Susan Mullhally’s “Olivia”, displays its connection to late modernism through linear form, motion and space. The geometrical shapes formed by the swing echo the concepts of Richard Meier displayed in the Meier Furniture Group. Meier, “Who has stressed purity of form and sleekness of surface while increasingly exploiting the expressive power of the irregular form” (Roth p. 569). The geometric proportion of the swing and connected arms gives birth to Olivia’s irregular bell curved dress blowing in the wind as she swings. The legs on the chair in the Meier Furniture Group give rise to the proportionate linear lines on a curved backrest. The space below Olivia’s feet is absent of a connection to the ground as she swings. “The modernist impulse to appear to defy gravity” (Roth, p.568). This theme was evident in the aerial atrium walkways in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City Missouri before the collapse. The artwork displays a primitive machine, the swing, to produce motion and fluidity. “Endless technological development that swept away any tedious connection with reality” (Roth p.567) This is displayed in Eero Saarinens Tulip Pedistal Group as the curves create constant fluid motion only attainable through mechanical mass production. (I will make the visual connection to Nordic Scandinavian influenced fluidity in my Counterpoint- Machine). “Eero Saarinen, Jorn Utzon, even Le Corbusier and others reshaped modernism as a means of highly personal self-expression” (Roth, p.567).  

Meier Furniture Group

 Susan Mullally, “Olivia”

Eero Saarinen, Tulip Pedestal Group

“Venturi found a way to combine abstract references to traditional ornament and Classical form and yet accommodate function to a building that endeavored to become integrated within its immediate environment” (Roth p.569). This diagram attempts to combine the modernistic qualities of the artwork of Mullally and Vedder into one fluid birthing of shape. The circular commodity protects a centralized space that mimics the rose protecting the bare woman; and can be extruded out from the flat plane as a column or skylight. The angled lines protruding from the polar ends of the larger circle mimic the swing and give birth to the bell shaped space at the base of the diagram. This space could be used as an entryway into the space leading to the circular flowering space above.


Diagram Extruded:

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