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Allied Works Architecture
Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Jennifer Rabin

Allied Works Architecture, "Conceptual Study for the Clifford Still Museum," 2010, reclaimed douglas fir beam, 12 1/2 x 18 x 24"

Continuing through September 4, 2016

Being an artist has a great deal to do with how a person moves through the world, how they pay attention to detail, and how they translate the ineffable into form. It is therefore not surprising that “Case Work: Studies in Form, Space & Construction” presents the small-scale concept models of architect Brad Cloepfil and his firm Allied Works Architecture (AWA) as a sculpture exhibition. AWA uses materials as varied as silk thread, foam, black walnut, charcoal, acrylic, and cut-up trombones to help materialize scale, surface, and space.

Accompanying each model are the material studies for that project, which give us a window into the way the architects attempt to make tangible the intangible. For the proposed Modern and Contemporary Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is a standout, the firm experimented with bisected wooden dowels, brass tubes, and copper leaf embedded in resin to approximate the fugitive nature of light as it shines directly into the building or is dappled through nearby trees. In addition to the 3D pieces, the firm’s original sketches for each building — simple and gestural, reminiscent, at turns, of Richard Serra and Frank Gehry — hang around the perimeter of the gallery, highlighting the importance of concept and process over the eventual product.

Portland Art Museum

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