January 25, 2010 - Platform, the Association of French Regional Contemporary Art Funds - Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism
January 25, 2010

Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism

Yona Friedman
Ville spatiale, 1959-1960
Photography: François Lauginie
Collection Frac Centre

Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism
First Exhibition of the Frac Collections in the United States – 2010

Institute of Visual Arts (Inova), Milwaukee
February 5 – April 18

Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
May 23 – August 8

Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit
September 10 – December 26


Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism is the first exhibition in the United States of work drawn from France’s network of Regional Contemporary Art Funds (Frac) and it will tour the Midwest throughout 2010. The exhibition brings together an international, multi-generational array of artists – with an emphasis on artists living in France – whose work contends with idealism, utopian thinking and, in counterpoint, the cynicism that follows failed revolution and the retreat of optimism in the face of pragmatic reality.

Lida Abdul, Élisabeth Ballet, Yves Bélorgey, Berdaguer & Péjus, Katinka Bock, Monica Bonvicini, Jeff Carter, Maurizio Cattelan / Philippe Parreno, Jordi Colomer, François Dallegret, herman de vries, Peter Downsbrough, Philippe Durand, Jimmie Durham, Simon Faithfull, Cao Fei, Robert Filliou, Didier Fiuza Faustino, Élise Florenty, Yona Friedman, Dora García, Ben Hall, Séverine Hubard, Stefan Kern, Bertrand Lamarche, Vincent Lamouroux, Didier Marcel, François Morellet, Sarah Morris, Juan Muñoz, Stéphanie Nava, Philippe Ramette, Kristina Solomoukha, Tatiana Trouvé, Marie Voignier, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Stephen Wetzel, Raphaël Zarka.

About the Exhibition
Spatial City is an art exhibition inspired by the theoretical architecture of Yona Friedman. Friedman’s ideas, disseminated in the aftermath of World War II, have influenced subsequent generations. French thinkers and conceptual artists have responded to his designs as philosophical constructs worthy of exploration, explication and confrontation. While Yona Friedman’s “utopia réalisable” informed the framework of the show, the selection of artwork reflects the cycling and recycling of optimism and cynicism in postwar culture. Artists in the exhibition are responding to society’s complex problems: the failed utopian social experiments that resulted in the dehumanizing conditions of Brutalist architecture, the rise and fall of totalitarian states, the tensions resulting from post-colonial immigration, and the destruction of the environment in the name of progress.

An international co-production
Curator Nicholas Frank (Institute of Visual Arts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,

Platform, the Association of French Regional Contemporary Art Funds
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