The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, April 26, 2018

Simon Starling's Inverted Retrograde Theme, USA on View at the Bass Museum of Art
Simon Starling, Inverted Theme , USA (A House of a Song Bird), 2002 and Inverted Retrograde Theme , USA (House for a Song Bird), 2002, wood, tree branch, metal. Collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl, Miami Beach , FL.

MIAMI BEACH, FL. Conceptual artist Simon Starling (b. 1967 Epsom, England) explores the relationships between craft, material, technique, social history, association and memory. Inverted Retrograde Theme, USA (House for a Songbird) is comprised of two scale models of prefabricated single-family houses that are pinned to the ceiling by tree branches. They are each a one fifth-scale recreation of existing homes located outside San Juan, Puerto Rico. Built in the 1960s, these houses were part of a postwar philanthropic effort in developing countries, financed by the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation.

Overlapping traditions, geographies and historical narratives, Starling combines the modernist theories of architect Simon Schmiderer (born Saalfedlden [Salzburg Province, Austria], 1911); died Highland Beach, FL April 2001), and Austrian composer and theorist Arnold Schonberg (born Vienna, 1874; died Los Angeles, 1951) who, in both of their respective fields, created rigid systems based on modular logic which were intended to enhance creativity. The architect was influenced by the composer, and was known to incorporate his musical theories in his work.

Simon Schmiderer, a faithful modernist, was best known for his "serial" housing, his motto being "one house in one hour." He was the architect for the extensive residential building project in Puerto Rico during the 1960s, basing his designs on pre-formed, inexpensive, concrete modules with ample open windows, omitting glass to "integrate" the interior and exterior. The wire mesh around the houses represents the security measures the actual inhabitants of the project in Puerto Rico took to maintain their safety in the high-crime area, as the original architectural plan dismissed the inhabitants’ practical needs, and was comprised of all open spaces with no security. The sound of singing birds coming from inside the seemingly caged homes completes the startling visual metaphor.

The architect adapted the composer’s serialist techniques in his work, and Starling illustrates this idea into the installation by mirroring the structures. The title for the installation is derived from Schonberg’s compositional system which can be played as "original," "inverted," "retrograde" or "inverted retrograde." Aspects of inversion and translocation (characteristic for twelve-tone music) were added to offer a new perspective of the modernist idea. Starling takes Schoenberg’s ideas further by flipping the houses upside down and pinning them to the ceiling, each balanced by one thin mahogany branch.

By transforming objects and transferring them to different contexts and materials, Starling questions their original intent, bringing to light the complexities of realizing utopian aspirations in the modern world.

Simon Starling: Inverted Retrograde Theme, USA (House for a Songbird) is on view to the public in the Henri and Flore Lesieur Pavilion July 15 – September 13, 2009.

Bass Museum of Art | Simon Starling | Simon Schmiderer | New York | Miami | Puerto Rico | Rockefeller Foundation |

Today's News

August 8, 2009

Impressionist Paintings from the Durand-Ruel Collection to be Sold by Sotheby's in New York

Julien's Auctions to Offer Property from the Collection of Barbra Streisand

MoMA Acquires a Collection of Rare 19th Century Photographs and Works by Richard Avedon

Dallas Cowboys Announce Art Program for New Stadium

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Announces New Chief Curator

Art Institute of Chicago Engages Children's Creativity with "Curious Corner"

FBI Issues Report on Attempted Sale of Stolen Pablo Picasso Etching

The Morgan to Display Original Manuscripts from Madama Butterfly and La Boheme in New Exhibition

The Whitney to Present First In-Depth Look at Artist Steve Wolfe's Works on Paper

AIPAD Announces Dates for Photography Show and Addition of New Member Galleries

Brian Joiner Named 2009 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence at the Taft Museum

Roy Andersson Retrospective at MoMA to Present Short Films, Television Commercials and Features

Philbrook Museum Opens Exhibition of Woodblock Prints by German Printmaker Gustave Baumann

AD.C International Art Awarded 1st Place Winner

Guanajuato State Ceramics Exhibited in Alhondiga de Granaditas

Simon Starling's Inverted Retrograde Theme, USA on View at the Bass Museum of Art

The Kids are Alright: AGO Youth Outreach Program Celebrates 10 Years

MFAH Core Exhibition Program Presents Reduced Visibility at the Glassell School of Art

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful