Things We Love: A Site-specific Installation Inside A Mid-century Prefab Prototype

  • August 21st, 2019

The exhibition space itself is often overlooked when you are experiencing and admiring the final art product. Yet, the building and structure play an important role in amplifying the experience of art admiration. It is this relationship between art and architecture that is explored in the site-specific installation, Parallel Perspectives.

Parallel Perspectives is a new exhibition currently on inside a mid-century prefab prototype, McCormick House – designed by famous architect Mies van der Rohe.

Luftwerk, a Chicago-based design collective, have been commissioned to produce works specifically for the space. In producing the works, they have considered how the reciprocal relationship between art and the space that houses the art. The result has been achieved through the use colour and light interventions which activate and interpret the house, celebrating the geometry.

The installation plays heavily on the use of colour to transform the home’s architectural nuances – a move inspired by the original developers Robert Hall McCormick and Herbert S. Greenwald, who offered to tint the windows of the prefab housing “almost any shade of the rainbow.” Leaving the windows plain, Luftwerk instead fills the internal space with several light and colour works that are either static or dynamically changing. Neon pieces with mirrored effects, pulsating lightboxes and colourful panes of glass all add to the effect.

Originally designed in 1952, McCormick House is a rare and important example of Mies’ mature style and was a prototype for a proposed group of smaller, mass-produced modular homes.

The exhibition is on now until the end of August – the catch – the prefab home is located in Chicago so book your flights quickly if you are keen. More info on the Elmhurst Art Museum website.