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TUESDAY, JAN 21 2020, 06:30 PM

As our current exhibition Resident Alien draws to a close, we are delighted to host a book presentation and panel featuring the authors of Frederick Kiesler: Face to Face with the Avant-Garde (Birkhäuser 2019) and a number of distinguished speakers and experts on the influential architect and designer.

Frederick Kiesler (born 1890 in Chernivtsi, died 1965 in New York) was an Austrian-American architect, artist, designer, stage decorator and theoretician. He was a true visionary of twentieth century art and architecture. Labeled by Philip Johnson as the "greatest non-building architect" of his time, his complex and transdisciplinary oeuvre exceeded the boundaries of individual artistic genres. His spectacular exhibition designs, a. o. for Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery in New York, his Endless House and his holistic human centered design theory called Correalism enjoy undiminished topicality. In addition, Kiesler was a committed networker and communicated regularly with the who's who of the avant-garde.

With twenty one essays, this publication portrays his multifaceted oeuvre in various contexts, and places Kiesler in a dialog with the most important artistic currents, artists and architects of his time: Bauhaus, the futurists, surrealism, and the New York School, as well as with personalities such as Hans Arp, Theo van Doesburg, Marcel Duchamp, Sigfried Giedion, Arshile Gorky and Piet Mondrian. The individual essays serve as case studies to analyse his life and work, with regard to the relationship to his artist friends. This book proves that Kiesler was an important intermediary between the visionary ideas of the European avant-garde and the up-and-coming New York art scene.

Raffaele Bedarida is an art historian and curator specializing in art, politics, and cultural diplomacy between Europe and America in the 20th century. As Assistant Professor of Art History at Cooper Union, New York, he regularly lectures on modern and contemporary art topics at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and MoMA.

Stephanie Buhmann is the Director of The Estate of Frederick Kiesler, New York and a doctoral candidate in the History of Art at the Humboldt University, Berlin. In 2015, she received an Archive and Library Stipend from the Arp Foundation, Berlin and was a Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Critic-in-Residence at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in New Brunswick, Canada in 2016. She is the author of New York Studio Conversations-Seventeen Women Talk About Art (2016), Berlin Studio Conversations-Twenty Women Talk About Art (2017) and New York Studio Conversations Part II-Twenty-One Women Talk About Art (2018).

Marilyn F. Friedman is a design historian who focuses on the development and popularization of modern design across America during the 1920s and 30s. She is the author of Selling Good Design: Promoting the Early Modern Interior (2003) and Making America Modern: Interior Design in the 1930s (2018). She has contributed articles to various design journals and museum publications and has lectured widely.

Carroll Janis was associated with the Sidney Janis Gallery during most of its fifty years existence and was its President and Director for two decades. He has taught in the Art History Departments of Columbia and Hunter Colleges in New York and in recent years has published on: Leonardo, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, Hans Arp and George Segal.

Alexander Kauffman has a PhD in history of art. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow in European Painting and Sculpture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His research addresses the intersections of modern art, media and exhibition.

James Wines, winner of the 2013 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, is the founder and president of SITE, an environmental art and design organization chartered in New York City in 1970. His architecture, landscape and public space designs are based on a response to surrounding contexts. He has designed and built more than one hundred and fifty projects for private and municipal clients in eleven countries. James Wines is also a Professor of Architecture at Penn State University. The main focus of his current work is on the fusion of art, architecture and landscape, plus the writing of essays on environmental topics.

Peter Bogner is an art historian, curator and cultural manager. After positions as secretary general of the Austrian Gallery Association and as director of the Vienna Künstlerhaus, he is currently director of the Frederick Kiesler Foundation. Most recently he (co-)curated Frederick Kiesler: Architect, Artist, Visionary at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, personal shows on Laurence Wiener, Bruce Nauman, Andres Jacque and a survey exhibition on the laureates of the Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts.

Gerd Zillner is archivist, curator and senior researcher at the Frederick Kiesler Foundation. He (co-)curated several exhibitions including most recently Frederick Kiesler: Architect, Artist, Visionary at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin (2017). Currently he is working, together with Spyros Papapetros, Princeton University, on the edition of Frederick Kiesler's unpublished book manuscript Magic Architecture. The Story of Human Housing, for which they received a Graham Foundation Grant. 

Image Credit: Atelier Dreibholz


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