LOS ANGELES, CA.- Perry Rubenstein Gallery
announces The Way We Live, Iwan Baans first solo exhibition at the gallery. Baans work exists at a critical juncture between architectural photography and sociocultural inquiry at a time when urbanization is a driving force behind human evolution.
The Way We Live features captivating large-scale images of urban, architectural, and home environments that capture Baans singular vision. Baans artistic practice examines how we live and interact with architecture, focusing on the human element, which brings buildings, intersections, and public gathering places to life. Baans images examine the choices we make through construction and building, whether it be sectioning off tracts of impoverished urban sprawl with massive traffic interchanges, reintegrating purposeful gathering areas into large-scale public buildings, or living in housing that stretches the boundaries of how a community functions. Taken as a whole, his artwork examines each subject in depth, capturing a sites essence through a spectrum of images ranging from sweeping aerial overviews to intimate one-on-one moments.
For The Way We Live, Perry Rubensteins East Gallery features a selection of large-scale images spanning the last eight years. The exhibition offers a balanced overview of Baans work, represented by images from more than a dozen of his most dynamic projects. Among the artists earliest projects, Tokyo #1 (2006) was created to celebrate the opening of Toyo Itos groundbreaking Mikimoto Ginza 2 building in Tokyo, Japan. A contemplative figure in traditional dress peers out from one of the slick buildings boulder-shaped corner windows, perfectly capturing the citys complex interplay of high-technology and ancient tradition. Zaha Hadids Guangzhou Opera House exists at the intersection of old and new China, where massive futuristic buildings are still built largely by hand. Baans image of opera patrons on the inaugural evening, gazing out from seats hovering against a luminous gold interior, calls into question how these ambitious expressions of Chinas growth link back to the world outside.
The West Gallery features an in-depth presentation centered around Baans Golden Lion Award-winning project on the Torre David in Caracas, Venezuela. When a forty-five-story office skyscraper project stalled in 1993 due to lack of funds, locals began moving into the building. Through its slow conversion into a highly organized and successfully self-governed communal living space, the Torre David became a testament to the ingenuity of the neighborhoods residents. Images such as Torre David #2 (2011), an upward-looking shot of the buildings oculus with homemade window coverings marking different tenants living quarters, depict how residents crafted unique personal living spaces out of a partially constructed concrete shell.
Perry Rubenstein comments, Iwan Baans practice effortlessly conjoins photography and architecture, simultaneously exploring the iconic power of structures and habitats and the humanity and fragility of life within them. His voice is singular and undeniable.
Until recently, Baan was best known for his images of major building projects by such renowned architecture firms as OMA / Rem Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron, SANAA, Steven Holl, Morphosis, Zaha Hadid, Toyo Ito, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, among others. More recently, he has gained prominence through his award-winning photographs of the Torre David and an iconic aerial image he took of lower Manhattan without electricity after Hurricane Sandy devastated the city. The image became widely known following its publication on the cover of New York Magazines November 12 issue titled, The City and the Storm, which is also the title of the photograph. Baan has created an artwork based on this powerful image, which is on view during The Way We Live.
Iwan Baans work was recently included in the Museum of Modern Arts exhibition, Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement, and in the Carnegie Museum of Arts, White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes. The artists work has regularly appeared in major publications such as the New York Times, New York Magazine, Domus, Abitare, Architectural Record, and the New Yorker, among others. In 2011, he was named one of the most influential people in the contemporary architecture world by Il Magazin dellArchitettura. On the occasion of Julius Shulmans 100th Birthday, Baan was honored as the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Julius Shulman Institute Photography Award. In 2012, Baan, along with Urban-Think Tank (Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner) and Justin McGuirk, won the Golden Lion for the Best Project at the International Architecture Biennale in Venice for the project Torre David, that was exhibited at Corderie, Arsenale.