A Single Man — Tom Ford’s tribute to 1960s style — and Dia:Beacon"/>

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Comments Posted 07.10.10 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Alexandra Lange

Heavens


Very very late in both cases, but after being stuck in sticky Brooklyn in my own house for weeks, I feel I finally managed to visit back-to-back versions of my idea of heaven.

The first was filmic: A Single Man, Tom Ford’s tribute to 1960s style (those dreamy narrow lapels) and the past invisibility of gay love, spends enough time on the details of John Lautner’s 1949 Schaffer House to satisfy all yearnings. The use of glass to fill in the gaps in the single-story, wood frame structure flipped the emphasis on transparency that’s more familiar in houses of the Case Study era, and served as a perfect metaphor for a protagonist too old to be open. Unlike everything else in the movie, the architecture wasn’t fussy, and didn’t feel like a fetish.

The second was real: family trip to Dia:Beacon that worked out better than I could have hoped. I lured my son with the promise of “tunnels” but was afraid he’d be disappointed when they turned out to be Torqued Ellipses. Not disappointed. Only one guard said anything to me about the child, and that was to warn me about the broken glass.

My favorite installation was Imi Knoebel’s 24 Colors, new artist and work to me. Sure, Ellsworth Kelly did it better, but it was a beautiful promenade past the floating shapes, and in a museum where red string can seem bright, to see the industrial skylights illuminating lime and maroon and sunflower was refreshing.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, and author of Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities. (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in The Architect's Newspaper, Architectural Record, Dwell, Metropolis, Print, New York Magazine and The New York Times.
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DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS









BOOKS BY Alexandra Lange

Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities
Princeton Architectural Press, 2012

Design Research
Chronicle Books, 2010

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