Image courtesy of The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation
The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation preserves the legacy of architect, Paul Rudolph, through outreach, education, and research. Upon the occasion of his 100th birthday, I worked with the organization and exhibition coordinator extraordinaire, Eduardo Alfonso, on an exhibition of Paul Rudolph’s works:
Paul Rudolph: The Personal Laboratory, an exhibition of drawings, sketches, photographs, and artifacts which explore how Rudolph’s residences—designed by himself, for himself—served as his laboratories for the spatially compelling spaces that he developed throughout his career.
The Personal Laboratory opened in October 2018 followed by The Hong Kong Journey at the Center for Architecture, both in New York City. Both exhibitions were admired here in The New York Times:
A pair of exhibitions now on view in Manhattan offers a lesson in the vagaries of architectural taste and a reintroduction to a master of solid and light. The show “Paul Rudolph: The Personal Laboratory,” through Dec. 30, concentrates on the architect’s residences, which is fitting given the location: the top floors of the Modulightor Building, a townhouse he built toward the end of his life on East 58th Street, which houses a light-fixtures firm he co-founded.
Downtown at the Center for Architecture, the smaller exhibition “Paul Rudolph: The Hong Kong Journey,” through March 9, looks at the architect’s work from the 1980s, when he found new opportunities in Asia.
The Midtown show is especially illuminating. Rudolph made his name with residential architecture in Sarasota, Fla., and by the 1960s he had become the go-to builder for tony townhouses in Manhattan and the suburbs. If you only know Rudolph for his large-scale work, you might be surprised by these houses, which arrayed domestic life with a choreographer’s precision. Rudolph’s favorite trick was to use risers, stages, runways and pits to create dozens of interlocking spaces in a single interior. These fluid arrangements blurred private spaces into communal ones and mashed narrow passageways against vertiginous expanses.