“ARCHIGRAM: Experimental Architecture 1961 - 1974”

Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
July 22 - Oct 10

Ron Herron
Ron Herron, Walking City (1964),
ink and collage on paper

"ARCHIGRAM", a unique and provocative travelling exhibition, was originally organized by Soho's Thread and Waxing Space, a progressive venue for contemporary art and music in New York. Archigram was a visionary architectural collaborative founded in England in the early 1960s by Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Ron Herron and Michael Webb. Its members had a fantasy of a throw-away architecture which would be a marriage of consumerism and planned obsolescence. By contrast to the notions of permanence and good taste in which the architecture of the 1960s was grounded, the Archigram collective proposed pre-fabricated removable dwelling units, exposed service elements like utilities and mechanical systems, and replaceable interior structures.

Unfortunately, none of their designs were ever realized. The concepts -- in the form of hundreds of lithographs, collages, ink drawings on paper, models and multimedia installations -- have been preserved and collected since that time and are presented in this exhibit together with a catalogue of essays and documentation. Part science-fiction and part serious architecture, "ARCHIGRAM" is a tribute to an unparalleled foray into enthusiastic and innovative dreams of social reconstruction.

© Mia Johnson