Brutal Destruction

Curated by Chris Grimley, OverUnder

David Schalliol
“Monstrosity” appears to be a favorite word for those who wish to bully and belittle architecture into obscurity and, in the more alarming cases, onto a demolition list. We need not look hard to remind ourselves that the term has been used by previous generations to describe Victorian architecture, French Second Empire buildings, and many other styles seen as outmoded within a half-generation of their heyday. Our contempt for the destruction that followed should give us pause in today’s rush to judge the concrete buildings of the mid-twentieth century.

Suspended between life and death, these buildings remind us of the power that architecture can possess upon its inception, but also of the forces that conspire against it once it is judged to have become old, out-of-shape, obsolete, or ugly. If there is a lesson in seeing concrete masterworks disfigured and demo- lished, we do not believe it lies in exposing the hubris of the generation that created them. Rather, the current wave of destruction says more about our own pessimism, the weakness of our potential building legacy, and our lack of patience in finding ways to superseded the cycle of ugliness and make these monstrosities our own.


Featured Photographers

Matthew Carbone Mechanic Theatre, Baltimore, MD [John Johansen, 1967]
Harlan Erskine Orange County Government Center, Goshen, NY [Paul Rudolph, 1971]
Jason Hood Birmingham Public Library, UK [John Madin, 1974]
Rey Lopez Third Church of Christ, Washington, D.C. [Araldo Cossutta, 1970]
David Schalliol Prentice Women’s Hospital, Chicago, IL [Bertrand Goldberg, 1975]
David Torke Shoreline Apartments, Buffalo, NY [Paul Rudolph, 1974]
Oliver Wainwright Robin Hood Gardens, UK [Alison and Peter smithson, 1972]

Select Press
Fast Company
Boston Magazine
Greg Cookland
Architectural Digest

pinkcomma gallery: Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo and Mark Pasnik
Curatorial Assistant: Shannon McLean
Exhibit Assistant: Anna Driscoll