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Form: Contemporary Architects at Play Opened at The Contemporary Arts Center
Jaime Velez with Jennifer Kolstad, Dancing Line, 2008, ColorCore®2 by Formica®, color New White in Microdot finish, plywood, 64 x 24 x 37 in. Photo by Tony Walsh.

CINCINNATI.- The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) presents FORM: Contemporary Architects at Play, a collection of remarkable, new artworks from ten world-renowned architects, including Massimo Vignelli, Peter Eisenman, Zaha Hadid, Michael Graves, Thom Mayne, Bill Pedersen, Laurinda Spear, Jaime Velez, Buzz Yudell and Bernard Tschumi. Together the works, constructed in innovative materials provided by Formica Corporation, explore a range of artistic expression from the most creative designers working in architecture today, with designs ranging in scope from domestic pieces to conceptual sculpture.

The fabricated designs will be offered in live auction May 10, 2008 during CAC's Silk & Spice Gala and in exhibition May 3 through August 31. The exhibition celebrates the CAC's fifth year in the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Hadid's first completed architectural project in the United States. Auction proceeds benefit CAC exhibitions and educational programming.

"As we celebrate our fifth year in the Rosenthal Center, we want to mark this historical moment with a bit of history-making. Design is essential to our daily lives - it is not confined to buildings and structures, but is part of how we live, work and play. FORM celebrates and advances the centrality of design in our lives," says Raphaela Platow, CAC's Alice & Harris Weston Director and Chief Curator.

Cincinnati-based Formica Corporation, a global leader in surfacing materials, donated fabrication costs and material resources to the project because of a simple, intriguing notion: to pair a design surfacing innovator with the imaginations of some of the world's most influential architects for the benefit of the CAC and Cincinnati community.

"Architects participating in FORM transform Formica® brand laminates and solid surfaces into art, each piece providing a unique perspective from each architect," says Renée Hytry Derrington, Senior Vice President of Global Design, Formica Corporation.

CAC and Formica Corporation presented the architects with an enjoyable challenge: to design an object that people could "sit upon, lie upon, lean upon, play upon." The architects present a broad range of approaches to the challenge. The result is a collection that runs a spectrum of scale, design and intent, but the works all share superior attention to detail, elegant design and luxurious form. Though the designs vary greatly from one another, all include an element of delight, inspiring the title FORM: Contemporary Architects at Play.

Premier New York gallery owner Max Protetch has this to say about the exhibition: "This collection truly offers a broad range in the architectural design spectrum from museum-worthy forms to domestic-scale showpieces. For example, Zaha Hadid's work, as in her architecture, speaks about function through newly invented forms. Other designs give more consideration to ideas such as comfort or composition based on the materials. Even with the diversity of approaches, all engage artistry and architecture, and all present the latest in contemporary ideas." Protetch has shown architectural drawings by contemporary masters, including Hadid, Graves and Peter Eisenman, all of whom contributed designs to FORM.

Christie's is the official auctioneer for the live sale. "There is something for everyone in this collection. These ten architects represent a variety of trends in contemporary art; some experiment with conceptual aesthetics and boundaries, while others address contemporary issues with design solutions," says Erica Barrish, Christie's Assistant Vice President, Associate Specialist Fine Arts.

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May 9, 2008

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