Published: November 19, 2002
CHICAGO, ILL. – “,” originally scheduled to end November 30, will be extended through Saturday, December 28. Wright’s unsurpassed fame and his connection to the Chicago area have resulted in strong interest in this exhibition of original material.
Frank Lloyd Wright began the Twentieth Century by transforming architecture from its Victorian dialect of turrets and finials into a modern language that spoke with flowing spaces and prairie hugging volumes. The more modern architects and designers in the Midwest followed Wright’s lead as well as the latest currents flowing out of Austria and Germany to create a new direction for architecture: the Prairie School.
Primarily used in suburban houses, the Prairie vocabulary established a horizontal geometry of low pitched roof lines with wide eaves. It challenged the rigid demarcation of rooms by eliminating wall partitions, letting the living spaces flow together seamlessly. Carpets, textiles and art glass shared similar motifs and color was limited to muted earth tones instead of the riotous palettes an clashing styles of “fashionable” upscale houses.
The clients for these remarkable dwellings were generally self-made men and a few iconoclastic women who dared to defy traditional suburban taste. As such, the Prairie Style houses that surrounded Chicago were often built to flaunt the owner’s “antiestablishment” social position as well as to create an artistic statement. These houses could never have been invented on America’s East Coast.
ArchiTech Gallery has assembled original design drawings and historical prints by Wright, George Mann Niedecken, Orlando Giannini, Alfonso Iannelli and Fay Barnes that demonstrate the finest avant-garde architecture of the early Twentieth Century. Interior designs for houses by Louis Sullivan, Barry Byrne and Frank Lloyd Wright are featured in addition to rare vintage photographs.
Located at 730 North Franklin, Suite 200 in Chicago’s River North gallery district, ArchiTech is Chicago’s only commercial gallery of architectural art. Hours are noon to 6 pm Thursdays through Saturdays. For information, 312-475-1290 or www.architechgallery.com.
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