Linee Occulte of the Citygroup of New York explores the invisible in architecture

“At a time when we are grappling with so many shared and lost stories, how important do the lines of the past, hidden out of sight, have to our process? This question, asked by the designer, educator and curator Marguerite Ames, forms the basis of a exposure at New York Group of cities, a collective space dedicated to questioning “the structural and cultural forces that shape the normative practices of architecture”.

Linee Occulte: Drawing architecture, like the title of the exhibition, draws inspiration from the writings of Italian mannerist architect Sebastiano Serlio, who grafted vector lines onto perspective projections to reveal hidden geometries. Serlio’s prompting to consider the discrete in architectural representation inspired the experimental designs of Linee Occultof the nine participating designers, including Iman Fayyad, Lindsay Harkema, Kevin Hirth, Alfie Koetter, Stephanie Lin, Melissa Shin, Lindsey Wikstrom, Mersiha Veledar, and Ames herself.

The designs are discrete explorations of Serlio’s concept of ‘hidden lines’, each taking a distinct approach to how the invisible can help us design certain architectural surfaces, spaces or forms. For Digital fresco n ° 2Lin took inspiration from the wrapped contour lines of Renaissance frescoes, applying a series of lines parallel to a wet block of plaster and allowing the layers to diffuse, warp and dissolve on contact. that of Fayyad White lines subdivides the familiar geometric volumes (cones and cylinders) into two-dimensional representations of their surfaces, creating a set of seemingly deceptive lines that highlight “the perceived ambiguity in the flat drawing surface”.

Linee Occulte: Drawing architecture, currently on display at Citygroup in New York. (Courtesy of Daisy Ames)

Presented on panels of homogeneous scale, the works in Linee Occult are presented in a visual environment that underpins their thematic orientation. Citygroup’s exhibition space is intertwined by low ceilings and walls that narrow towards the back, sandwiched between a barber shop and an art gallery in a nondescript basement on Manhattan Lower East Side. Ames used them as canvases to create a highly architectural trompe-l’oeil form, covering the walls with precise line art and grayscale coloring to suggest geometries that don’t actually exist. The volumes seem to move away from the dark floors, providing an illusory, rendered wall space for the display of the nine small drawings and exhibition text.

As Ames said A, the enveloping mural on the walls of Citygroup signals an attempt to reimagine the viewer himself: “This exhibition gave me the opportunity to put in only a 2D representation, but also a representation that goes beyond the 2D to test how someone could literally occupy or inhabit a space that encourages keeping in mind what one might not be able to see.

For Ames, whose eponymous studio has contributed to past exhibitions at the Storefront for Art and Architecture and the Venice Biennale, the approach reflects the focus throughout his career on the invisible aspects of architectural production: “At the heart of this project, and what has been most rewarding, is the coming together of colleagues around a line of reflection on our built environment that drives my practice, the hidden elements that have such a profound impact on our way. to live. “

Linee Occult will be on view by appointment until mid-July in the Citygroup exhibition space at 104b Forsyth Street, New York, NY 10002. Email [email protected] for planning and requests information.


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