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Art & Art History

The Idea of Big

Wednesday, April 17, 1985–Saturday, May 11, 1985

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Artists: Brad Angelini, Darcy Bonner, John Clark, Jacqueline Clawson, Howard Decker, Victor Dziekiewicz, Paul Florian, Daniel Garber, Richard Gibbons, Janet Goodman/James Lieberman, Julie Hacker, Ray Hartshorne, Aki Knezevic, Tannys Langdon, Jill Lerner, Sam Marts, Andrew Metter/Jim Law, Jordan Moser, Anders Nereim, Peter Noone, James Plunkard, Alan Schechtman, Randy Shear, Rael Slutsky, Peggy Smolka, Richard Solomon, Darryl Strouse, John Syvertsen, Dario Tainer, Leslie Ventsch, Nick Weingarten/Walt Bransford, Daniel Wheeler, Jan Yoder, and Charles Young

The Idea of Big highlights scale changes inherent in the design process by using the latest photocopier technology. Curated by Stephen Wierzbowski, of Florian-Wierzbowski Architecture, and Laurel Bradley, Director of Gallery 400, the exhibition featured architectural drawings in a vertical format, enlarged to nine feet by three feet using the Xerox 2080 process. These were installed in Gallery 400 juxtaposed with a model of the gallery interior, in which minutely proportioned reductions of the original renderings were displayed. The drawings exhibited in The Idea of Big were done by thirty-seven Chicago architects with “new practices:” Brad Angelini, Darcy Bonner, John Clark, Jacqueline Clawson, Howard Decker, Victor Dziekiewicz, Paul Florian, Daniel Garber, Richard Gibbons, Janet Goodman/James Lieberman, Julie Hacker, Ray Hartshorne, Aki Knezevic, Tannys Langdon, Jill Lerner, Sam Marts, Andrew Metter/Jim Law, Jordan Moser, Anders Nereim, Peter Noone, James Plunkard, Alan Schechtman, Randy Shear, Rael Slutsky, Peggy Smolka, Richard Solomon, Darryl Strouse, John Syvertsen, Dario Tainer, Leslie Ventsch, Nick Weingarten/Walt Bransford, Daniel Wheeler, Jan Yoder, and Charles Young.

The architectural design process involves numerous shifts in scale between conception and execution. To clarify structural details, an architect may render small elements very large; architectural models present very big forms on a drastically reduced scale; a building may be drawn on a small sheet for convenience and then reproduced at a larger scale. Drawings in The Idea of Big treated a wide range of subjects, from buildings and towers to furniture, architectural fragments and elements to purely abstract conceptual renderings. Architects had the option of coloring and making three-dimensional the enlarged drawings.

EXHIBITION SUPPORT

The Idea of Big is supported by the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Art and Design’s College of Architecture, Art and Urban Planning.

This exhibition is also supported by RiteWay Reproductions, Inc. and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Enlargements and reductions for The Idea of Big were processed on a Schacoh 920 machine, which Don Bailey of Rite-Yay Reproductions made available to Gallery 400.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Cohen, Stuart. “What’s the Big Idea?” Progressive Architecture, June 1985, no. 6, p. 26.

Douglas, David Dillon. “The Idea of Big.” Plan & Print, July 1985, no. 69, p. 20 -24.

PRINT COLLATERAL

Postcard: The Idea of Big

EXHIBITION CHECKLIST

Darcy R. Bonner

Detail of bay @ 25 E. Washington

Prisma color, 3 x 9 ft.

Jacqueline Clawson

Morning

Ink on vellum/newsprint, 3 x 9 ft.

Howard Decker

Self-Explanatory

Paper, 3 x 9 ft.

Richard Gibbons

Ivy

Pencil, 3 x 9 ft.

Janet Goodman and James H. Lieberman

Egypt

Toner and marker on bond, 3 x 9 ft.

Julie Hacker

City House Quilt

Ink on Mylar, bond, quilting, 3 x 9 ft.

Raymond Hartshorne

Beanstalk Moulding

3 x 9 ft.

Jill N. Lerner

Carusisms

Prismacolor on Xerox print, 3 x 9 ft.

Sam Marts

Elephant Eye

Magic marker and Crayola, 3 x 9 ft.

Ethan Miller and Jim Law

Homage to B.F.

Xerox, 3 x 9 ft.

Jordan Mozer

Scale = Man is the Measure

Acrylic, 3 x 9 ft.

James M. Plunkard

A Shadow of Man

Ink on Mylar, 3 x 9 ft.

Richard Salomon

Window House

3x 9 ft.

Randy Shear

A Wisconsin Bank

Xerox, reproduction, 3 x 9 ft.

Peggy Smolka

Metamorphic Boogie Woogie

Mixed Media, 3 x 9 ft.

Darryl Jay Strouse

Letter and Change

Photostat and ink on vellum, 3 x 9 ft.

Dario Tainer and Victor Dziekiewicz

Manipulating the Idea of Big

Pen and ink, marker, pencil, 3 x 9 ft.

Leslie Ventsch

Tower on the Plain of Shinar

Paper, 3 x 9 ft.

Nick Weingarten and Walt Bransford

John Hancock Recursively Stamped

Duraplot, 3 x 9 ft.

Daniel Wheeler

Untitled

Xerox, pastel, 3 x 9 ft.

Charles G. Young

Frontispiece for the Disappearance of Marie

Ink on Strathmore paper, 3 x 9 ft.

PRESS RELEASE

The Idea of Big

Gallery 400
Chicago, IL
April 17 – May 11, 1985

Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 17, 1985, 5 – 7 pm

Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) will present the exhibit, “The Idea of Big,” April 17 through May 11.

“The Idea of Big” will explore the scale changes inherent in the architectural design process. To clarify structural details, architects render small elements very large and conversely, architectural models present very big forms on a drastically reduced scale. The exhibit will feature drawings by 37 Chicago architects with new practices, including Anders Nereim, assistant professor of architecture and Paul Florian, adjunct assistant professor of architecture.

The show includes architectural drawings enlarged to nine feet by three feet and a model of the exhibit space in which the giant drawings are reduced to scale. The drawings range from buildings and towers to furniture, architectural fragments and purely abstract renderings.

The exhibit is curated by Laurel Bradley, director of Gallery 400 and Stephen Wierzbowski, adjunct assistant professor of architecture.

An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Wednesday, April 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“The Idea of Big” is funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council and Rite-Way Productions.

ImagesLaurel Bradley is the founding director of Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She earned a BA in art history from the University of Oregon, and a PhD from New York University ’s Institute of Fine Arts, for which she wrote a dissertation on Victorian art.

Stephen Wierzbowski has worked as a senior designer for Chicago architectural firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill. In 1981, he became an adjunct assistant professor for the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Architectural Design Studios. The next year, he continued to teach for the university through its traveling studies program in Versailles, France. Wierzbowski has since returned to the Chicago campus, where he continues to teach for the Architectural Design Studios. He earned a BA in architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and an MA in architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago.