July 6, 2018 - Betts Project - Denise Scott Brown: Wayward Eye
e-flux Architecture
July 6, 2018
July 6, 2018

Betts Project

Denise Scott Brown, Pico Boulevard - Santa Monica, 1966. © Denise Scott Brown. Courtesy the artist, plane-site and Betts Project.

Denise Scott Brown
Wayward Eye
Photography of the 1950s and 1960s
July 11–28, 2018

Private view: July 10, 6–8pm

Betts Project
100 Central Street
London EC1V 8AJ
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 11am–6pm,
Saturday 12–5pm

T +44 20 7250 1512

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Betts Project is pleased to announce Wayward Eye an exhibition of photography of the 1950s and 1960s by legendary architect-planner and theorist Denise Scott Brown. This will be Scott Brown’s first solo exhibition in the UK.

"I’m not a photographer. I shoot for architecture—if there’s art here it’s a byproduct. Yet the images stand alone. Judge what you see.

In 1956, Robert Scott Brown and I photographed architectural set pieces of Venice as records to return to while practicing in Africa. But in the process, more than architecture crept into our photographs.

In 1965, after ten years of urbanism, my foci were automobile cities of the American Southwest, social change, multiculturalism, action, everyday architecture, 'messy vitality,' iconography, and Pop Art.

Waywardness lay in more than my eye.
Do I hate it or love it?
'Don’t ask,' said my inner voice. 'Just shoot.'

For Robert Venturi and me, these sequences from Venice to Venice, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas provided inspiration and they still do. And via them, architectural photography initiated a move beyond beauty shots and data. Over the last 60 years, by adding analysis, synthesis, recommendation, and design, it has gone from tool to subdiscipline in architecture."
–Denise Scott Brown


Taken between 1956 and 1966, these photographs reveal Scott Brown’s formative explorations into urban systems, Pop Art, and the complexity of the American vernacular—interests that she and partner Robert Venturi would later develop in the pivotal Learning from Las Vegas. The photographs offer a glimpse into the social transformations of the 1960s as seen through the wayward eye of one of architecture’s most influential practitioners.

Scott Brown’s photography is more than a means of documenting buildings — it is a tool for observation and analysis, an exploration of culture, aesthetics, history, and society. Through photography, Scott Brown traces continuities from the geometric vistas of Tintoretto’s Venice to the neon modernism of the Vegas Strip. For today’s architects, artists, and social scientists, these images provide models for design research and visual thinking.

Photographs are available for purchase at Betts Project. Each photograph is  in a limited edition of ten, signed and numbered by Denise Scott Brown. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a catalogue, published by PLANE—SITE and featuring texts by Scott Brown and Andrés Ramirez.

In support of this exhibition, a collage installation of photographs by Scott Brown will also be on display concurrently at Lethaby Gallery, University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins.

Betts Project
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Wayward Eye
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