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Tate Britain Presents Renowned British Architect James Stirling: Notes from the Archive
James Frazer Stirling, Forest Ranger’s Lookout Station: perspective, section, elevation, and plans, 1949. James Stirling / Michael Wilford fonds, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal © CCA © CCA. Ink, watercolour, and graphite on paper.

LONDON.-This spring Tate Britain presents James Stirling: Notes from the Archive, an exhibition of selected material from the rich archive of renowned British architect, teacher and Pritzker Prize laureate James Stirling (1924–92). Marking a resurgence of interest in his work, this is the first architecture exhibition shown at Tate Britain from April 5 through August 21, 2011 and displayed in the Clore Gallery, a building project completed by Stirling himself. Drawn from the recently-catalogued James Stirling/Michael Wilford fonds at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, the exhibition is co-organised by the CCA and Yale Center for British Art, New Haven. James Stirling: Notes from the Archive also coincides with the Tate Britain Millbank Project, the first stage of a collaboration with Caruso St John Architects to renovate and improve Tate Britain.

James Stirling is increasingly regarded as one of the most innovative architects of the twentieth century and is also a significant figure in the history of Tate, having designed the Clore Gallery (1980–1987) and Tate Liverpool on the Albert Dock (1984–1988). Over twenty years on, and as Tate Britain enters a new phase of architectural development, this exhibition aims to encourage visitors to consider Stirling’s legacy and look again at the building and its site.

Spanning five decades and showcasing over three hundred rarely seen drawings, models, photographs, notebooks and sketches, James Stirling: Notes from the Archive reveals Stirling’s design process and particularly his interest in the interplay between tradition and modernity. Stirling’s groundbreaking practice and partnerships is also explored, including his early student work, the projects in partnership with James Gowan which brought them international attention in the 1960s, and his collaborative work with Michael Wilford from 1971. Materials such as a bird watching diary compiled as a schoolboy demonstrate Stirling’s life-long appreciation of natural habitats whilst illustrating his extraordinary talent for detailed observation. Acclaimed projects such as the Leicester University engineering building (1959–1963), the History Faculty building at Cambridge University (1964–1967), The Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart (1977–1984) and Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard University (1979–1984) is investigated in detail alongside unfinished and unrealised projects, highlighting Stirling’s ambition to establish a style that was both British and modern.

Re-thinking James Stirling, a conference organised by Mark Crinson (Professor of Art History at the University of Manchester) and Christoph Grafe (Director of the Flemish Architecture Institute, Antwerp) will take place in the Clore Auditorium on Saturday 11 June 2011.

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