September 29, 2010 - Drawing Center - Paul Rudolph at The Cooper Union
September 29, 2010

Paul Rudolph at The Cooper Union

Paul Rudolph, Perspective rendering of vertical housing elements at the approach to the Williamsburg Bridge, 1970.
Brown ink on paper, 29 x 30 inches.*

Paul Rudolph
Lower Manhattan Expressway

October 1 – November 14, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 6:00–8:00pm

Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY

The Drawing Center presents Paul Rudolph: Lower Manhattan Expressway, organized in collaboration with The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. The Lower Manhattan Expressway (LME) was first conceived by “master builder” Robert Moses in the late 1930s as an expressway running across Lower Manhattan. The idea was revisited by architect Paul Rudolph in 1967 when the Ford Foundation commissioned a study of the project. Had it been constructed, this major urban design plan would have transformed New York City’s topography and infrastructure. In this exhibition, approximately 30 full-scale reproductions of drawings, prints, and photographs dated from 1967–1972 will be on public view for the first time. These works from the Paul Rudolph Archive at the Library of Congress will be shown together with a reconstruction of Rudolph’s model of the LME project created by architecture students at The Cooper Union in conjunction with Rawlings Architects PC. Presenting the only records of Rudolph’s visionary proposal, this exhibition illuminates Rudolph’s unique approach to architectural drawing and highlights the fundamental importance of drawing in his overall practice. Co-curated by Jim Walrod and Ed Rawlings, Principal, Rawlings Architects PC.

Paul Rudolph (b. 1918, Elkton, Kentucky; d. 1997, New York City) studied architecture at Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn (now Auburn University), graduating in 1940. He continued his studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Design with Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, earning his degree in 1947 after serving in the Navy between 1943–46. After completing his degree, Rudolph moved to Sarasota, Florida, establishing his own firm in 1952. He was Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University from 1957–65, then left to establish his office in New York City. Rudolph completed numerous projects during his career, notably the Jewitt Arts Center at Wellesley College (1955) and the Art and Architecture Building at Yale University (1958).

Saturday, October 2, 2:00pm
Guided walk-through with exhibition curators Jim Walrod and Ed Rawlings

Saturday, October 23, 2:00pm
Lower Manhattan Expressway Walking Tour
An LME walking tour led by Ian Volner, writer, critic, and publicist will meet at 2pm at the southwest corner of Canal Street and Bowery.

Thursday, November 4, 6:30pm
Panel Discussion
The Great Hall, The Cooper Union
A panel discussion presented with the Forum for Urban Design and the Paul Rudolph Foundation will include panelists Donald H. Elliott, Alexander Garvin, Ed Rawlings, and Jaquelin T. Robertson.

To accompany the exhibition, The Drawing Center will produce a new volume in the Drawing Papers series. The publication will feature an essay by the exhibition curators, full-color plates of the works in the exhibition, and photographs of the reconstructed model. Available October 2010.

The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery
The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street, 2nd Floor
Hours: Monday–Friday 12:00–7:00pm, Saturday 12:00–5:00pm (Closed Sunday)

Paul Rudolph: Lower Manhattan Expressway is made possible by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency. Additional support is provided by Hester Diamond and Anne H. Bass.

The Drawing Center is the only not-for-profit fine arts institution in the country to focus solely on the exhibition of drawings, both historical and contemporary. It was established in 1977 to provide opportunities for emerging and under-recognized artists; to demonstrate the significance and diversity of drawings throughout history; and to stimulate public dialogue on issues of art and culture.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is a distinguished private college of art, architecture and engineering founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper, an inventor, industrialist and philanthropist. Since its founding, all admitted students have received full-tuition scholarships.

*Image above:
Courtesy of the Paul Rudolph Archive, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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