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Beyond Environment

October 4, 2014 - November 9, 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, September 4, 2014

Exhibition Dates: September 4, 2014 – November 9, 2014
Curator Talk: September 5, 2014

Featuring works by Gianni Pettena, Allan Kaprow, Robert Smithson, UFO, 9999, Gordon Matta-Clark.

Beyond Environment explores the potent interchange between architecture, Land Art, and Performance Art that emerged through Italian architect Gianni Pettena’s idealized collaboration with American artists Allan Kaprow and Robert Smithson in the 1970s.

Captivated by a journey to Salt Lake City in 1972, Pettena created Tumbleweeds Catcher, a tower installation that cut across natural and manmade environments. Earlier, while in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pettena and Smithson’s dialogue around onsite material transformations helped create some of the architect’s most iconic works. With Ice House I and II, respectively staged in an abandoned school and in a non-descriptive suburban house, Pettena poured water into mold works he created around the buildings’ perimeter walls. Curing during the winter night into a coat of ice, the Houses resonated with their conceptual predecessor, Kaprow’s Fluids of 1967, as well as with a newer contemporary architectural sensibly concerned with the effects of variedly compounded, highly eidetic architectural surfaces.

Curated by Emanuele Piccardo and Amit Wolf, the exhibition showcases contractual, electroacoustic, and video aspects of Pettena’s work, alongside Kaprow’s Happenings and a forgotten collection of drawings that Smithson created in preparation for Asphalt Rundown (1969) in Rome. These are supplemented by the works of Italian groups UFO and 9999, as well as an environment-dialog between Pettena and the Los Angeles based collective Pentagon, which recreate anew this important architecture-art complex.
Beyond Environment features the ACTAR catalog with texts by Emanuele Piccardo, Amit Wolf, Robert Smithson, and Gianni Pettena. Available for purchase at LACE.

Throughout the run of the exhibition, Hennessy + Ingalls presents a curated selection of 50+ art and architecture books at the LACE storefront gallery.


  • September 3, 2014 Beyond Environment: A Preface, a conversation at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles with Gianni Pettena, Aaron Moulton, Gian Maria Annovi, Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, Emanuele Piccardo and Amit Wolf, starting at 6:30PM. Limited seating – RSVP at rsvp.iicla@esteri.it.
  • September 4, 2014 – Opening reception, 7PM, at LACE, featuring the Beyond Environment catalog signing with Gianni Pettena.
  • September 5, 2014 – A conversation with the curators, Pettena and Pentagon, the architecture collaborative of Tyler McMartin, Paul Stoelting, Dale Strong, and Paul Trussler that designed the exhibition’s central environment. Event starts at 7PM.
  • November 6, 2014 – Closing event for Beyond Environment in conjunction with Sci-Arc Alumni event. Starts at 7- 10pm and sponsored by Dark Horse Wines and Stone Brewing Company.

WUHO Gallery presents an exhibition in tandem, displaying submitted proposals for the Beyond Environment exhibition environment. Opening reception at WUHO (6518 Hollywood Blvd.) starts at 8:30PM. Learn more at www.architecture.woodbury.edu/wuho/.

Emanuele Piccardo is an architect, photographer, filmmaker, and curator. He lectured at Princeton University, Pratt Institute, IUAV, Politecnico di Milano. In 2002, Piccardo founded the architecture magazine Archphoto.it. In 2011 he founded the magazine archphoto 2.0, the printed, upgraded version of Archphoto.it, part of the project Archizines ideated by Elias Redstone. Since 2005 Piccardo has curated architectural research about the Superarchitettura, most recently the exhibition Radical City in Turin (2012). As a photographer and filmmaker he has exhibited in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; the MAXXI Museum, Rome; and the Milan Triennale. His documentary films include Fango (2012; Award of Excellence, Los Angeles Movie Award) and Lettera22 (2009, Award of Best Architecture Film, International Asolo Art Film Festival, Official selection Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam). In 2013 he won the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Amit Wolf is an architect, a writer and a curator.  He has curated several exhibitions and events collaboratively in Los Angeles. Wolf teaches courses in architecture history and theory at SCI-Arc. He previously taught at Otis, Woodbury University, and UCLA. He is the recipient of the 2007 Clinton Webb Award, the 2012 California Interdisciplinary Consortium of Italian Studies Award, and the 2013 Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Wolf’s publications have to date focused on the areas of Italian experimentalist practice as well as on theoretical issues in contemporary architecture. His Fabrication and Fabrication (2014) explores computational advances in the field. Wolf received his Master of Architecture degree from the Politecnico di Milano in 2001. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art from UCLA in 2012.

Pentagon (Dale Strong / Paul Trussler / Paul Stoelting / Tyler McMartin) is a Los Angeles based architecture group formed by its members while graduate students at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. For Beyond Environment, Pentagon designed ”Sonic,” a physical diagram, defining a procession of media viewing lamina.

Beyond Environment is made possible by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and by Woodbury University School of Architecture. Important contributors also include the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and Fondazione Azzura.

Image: Gianni Pettena, Ice House I: Minneapolis 1971.


October 4, 2014
November 9, 2014
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