Space with No Brief
By ANDREW DADDS (M.Arch ’16)
In the spirit of Le Corbusier’s “Secret Laboratory,” painting is used to explore the world around us through an idiosyncratic lens. Architecture, abiding by the laws of physics, and painting, with its freedom to manipulate objects and environments, are predominantly disparate. Le Corbusier embraced the dichotomy, allowing one to indirectly influence the other. Each day Le Corbusier would extend his morning exercises to each half of his brain, first the artist through non-functional painting, then the architect through professional practice. Many artist-architects have followed similar pursuits, from Piranesi to Massimo Scolari, free to construe architecture and its context in the plastic realm of painting. The space to be explored is within the canvas, and our eye the departure point. To project oneself in a painting is key to exploring it, leaving behind the physical constraints in which real buildings operate. Embracing paradox, mimesis, and contradiction in the canvas is an important exercise in our conception of space. The accompanying images exist free of any design brief or constraint. They are works of fiction, allowing for an exchange of properties both natural and artificial. A geography of the psyche, where one is free to explore. Abandoning the digital box in favor of representing the real as an open-ended question, painting can offer a pause to work intuitively and reflect upon a world all too often seen as literal.