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First major retrospective in Germany of the renowned British architect James Frazer Stirling opens
James Frazer Stirling, Neue Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (1977-1984), © Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

STUTTGART.- The Staatsgalerie Stuttgart presents the first major retrospective in Germany of the renowned British architect, teacher and Pritzker Prize laureate James Frazer Stirling (1924 – 1992). This exhibition is co-organized by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven.

James Frazer Stirling (1924-1992) is regarded as one of the most influential and innovative architects of the second half of the 20th century. The exhi-bition at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart presents a chronological survey of the architect’s work from his student days in Liverpool and his close study of Le Corbusier to his architectural language of the 1970s and 80s which gave expression to his lifelong interest in the interplay between tradition and modernity. More than three hundred original architectural drawings, models and photographs as well as a wide range of previously unpub-lished archival material are drawn from the James Stirling/Michael Wil-ford fonds at the CCA.

Stirling’s exquisite architectural drawings, most of them axonometric pro-jections, conjure highly evocative visions of buildings:

Among them are spectacular designs such as the trio of radically modern university buildings – the Engineering Building of Leicester University (1959-63), the History Faculty Library in Cambridge (1964-67) and the Florey Building for Queen’s College at Oxford University (1966-71) – with their innovative, Constructivism-inspired mix of concrete, steel, glass and brick. Also documented are projects and buildings James Stirling’s as the Olivetti Training Centre in Haslemere, Surrey, (1969-72) which looks for-ward to the formal repertoire of the Staatsgalerie; museums in London (Clore Gallery at Tate Britain, 1980-86) and Harvard (Arthur M. Sackler Mu-seum, 1979-84); the Social Science Research Centre in Berlin as a ‘city within a city’ (1979-87); the competition entry for the Bibliothèque de France (1989) with its references to the architecture of the French Enlight-enment, and the Braun Headquarters in Melsungen, Germany (1986-92). A number of rarely shown or even unknown projects from Stirling’s forty-year career attest to the architect’s creative interest in urban development and to the continuous evolution of his architectural language.

There can be no more appropriate venue in Germany for the first compre-hensive exhibition of Stirling’s archive. Although initially the object of heated controversy, the Neue Staatsgalerie is now universally accepted as James Stirling’s masterpiece and a classic of museum architecture. It is the largest exhibit of the presentation and can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways.

Stirling’s multiple references to the architecture of the past and its influ-ence on his work are illustrated by a selection of architecture-related works from the 17th century to the present from the rich holdings of the Staatsgalerie, among them works by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Leo von Klenze, Giorgio de Chirico, Lyonel Feininger, Le Corbusier, Richard Hamil-ton, Eduardo Paolozzi, Bernd & Hilla Becher and Thomas Ruff.

James Frazer Stirling: Notes from the Archive – Crisis of Modernism has been curated by Anthony Vidler, Dean and Professor of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, and developed for Staats-galerie Stuttgart by Peter Daners. The exhibition will come to the Staats-galerie Stuttgart from the Tate Britain, London, before continuing its tour to the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal in spring 2012. The ex-hibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated book, published by the Cana-dian Centre for Architecture and Yale Center for British Art, in association with Yale University Press, and supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart | James Frazer Stirling | architect |

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