At the age of 49, Richard Meier (12/10/1934- ), was the youngest architect to receive his profession’s highest accolade, the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1984). Shortly after receiving that honor, he was awarded what is probably one of the 20th century’s most important commissions, the design of The Getty Center in Los Angeles. “I’ve experienced Rome since I was a student there in 1955 and at the American Academy in 1976. It is a place that I have spent time in, loved and absorbed. It never occurred to me that I would someday build in Rome. It didn’t seem that it was in the realm of possibilities”- Richard Meier.
By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo: Museum Angewandte Kunst Archive
On 25 April 1985, Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst, moved into the Richard Meier building in Schaumainkai 17 Street. On the occasion of its 13th year in these quarters, the Museum is presenting a cabinet exhibition entitled “Richard Meier. A Style Room”, which is more than a design exhibition. The visitors can learn what historical references the architect drew on for his plans, what early 20th century design examples did he look to for orientation, and what cultural contexts of the ‘80s underscore his approach. “Richard Meier. A Style Room”, shows how the Architect quoted modernism in order to introduce new impulses to post-modern architecture that later also influenced neo-modernism. At the same time, the presentation is a style room that conveys an impression of a private interior à la Meier, whose fictional inhabitants are as little prepared to go without a hi-end hi-fi system as without the cult series of novels. The exhibition creates the atmosphere of the middle-class elite of the ‘80s in which an unbroken modernism felt right at home. For his work he said: “Le Corbusier was a great influence, but there are many influences and they are constantly changing. Frank Lloyd Wright was a great architect, and I could not have done my parent’s house the way that I did, without being overwhelmed by Falling Water. We are all affected by LeCorbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, and Mies van der Rohe. But no less than Bramante, Borromini and Bernini. Architecture is a tradition, a long continuum. Whether we break with tradition or enhance it, we are still connected to that past”.
Info: A Style Room, Curator: Thibaut de Ruyter, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Schaumainkai 17, Frankfurt am Main, Duration: 23/4/15-24/4/16, Days & Hours: Tue, Thu‒Sun: 10:00-18:00, Wed: 10:00-20:00, www.museumangewandtekunst.de