The exhibition traces the emergence of architecture as a wellspring of creativity and theoretical exploration for the artist Arakawa (1936–2010) and poet and philosopher Madeline Gins (1941–2014). Including over 40 drawings and a wide-range of archival materials, this presentation illuminates a pivotal moment within a collaborative practice that spanned nearly five decades.
In the early 1960s, Arakawa and Gins began a remarkably original and prolific partnership that encompassed painting, installations, poetry, literature, architecture, urbanism, philosophy, and scientific research. Complementing their independent artistic and literary practices, their collaborative work launched with visual, semiotic, and tactile experiments that questioned the limits and possibilities of human perception and consciousness. During the 1980s—a critical juncture in their careers—this line of inquiry became increasingly spatial as Arakawa and Gins together developed a series of speculative architectural projects that sought to challenge the bodily and psychological experience of users.
Eternal Gradient uncovers a little-known body of visionary work and examines this exploratory period through a stunning array of original drawings—many exhibited for the first time—as well as archival material and writings that illuminate the working methods and wide-ranging research interests of Arakawa and Gins.
The exhibition originated at the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and is made possible, in part, by the Estate of Madeline Gins and through a partnership with the Reversible Destiny Foundation. It is curated by Irene Sunwoo with Tiffany Lambert and designed by architecture and design collaborative Norman Kelley.
for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place
Chicago, IL 60610 | U.S.A.
Image: Arakawa and Madeline Gins, Study for Critical Holder, 1990. Acrylic, graphite and colored pencil on paper. 42 1/2 x 61 inches. Photo: Nicholas Knight. © 2018 Estate of Madeline Gins. Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Madeline Gins