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Urban Alchemy/Gordon Matta-Clark at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

January 8, 2010 Events/Meetings, Midtown 11 Comments

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts has been open for several years now but I never visited until last week.  I went to see the “Urban Alchemy/Gordon Matta-Clark” exhibit which runs through June 30, 2010.  The exhibit was more interesting than I first thought it would be – a pleasant surprise.  The building is much bigger and more interesting than I expected based on the stark street elevation.

Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

The Pulitzer and the Contemporary next door to the West break all my normal conventions about good urban buildings.  Both present large blank walls to the pedestrian on the sidewalk.  The Pulitzer is set back from the sidewalk and the front door is hidden from street view.  But both structures work as quasi-civic buildings which often break traditional sidewalk relationships.  Blocks and blocks of the beautiful concrete walls would get old quickly but in small doses they make a nice contrast to the older buildings in midtown.

The Pulitzer is open Wednesdays noon to 5pm and Saturdays 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. I'm Bored says:

    The quality of posts has really tanked in recent months. Do you think we could get some more substance?

  2. The San Luis could have been really cool too 🙂

    Is Steve a clown here to entertain you?

  3. G-Man says:

    Ugh…it looks like a concrete bunker.

  4. Cheryl says:

    I have not seen the inside of this building, but can't see how it makes a “nice contrast”, as you mention, on the outside, even though it breaks all the rules for good urban buildings.

    Looks like there is a big open space near the door to install some bike racks. The maps and directions page fails to mention that you can get there by transit, yet gives all possible directions for getting there by private auto.

    • Good points on transit and bike parking – I will mention both to people I know there. Check out their website to see pictures of the building because the interior spaces are remarkable. I like the contrast to the Sheldon next door. I appreciate each because of the other. I'm so tired of cheap new buildings with a bit of red brick trying to pass as good architecture.

  5. gmichaud says:

    Japanese architect Tadeo Ando was the architect for this building, with Christner Partnership acting as the local architects. No matter what you might think about the result, the building was carefully designed, even the placement the light switches and how they appeared was carefully considered. The selection of the contractor was also very careful and it was verified that they were capable of handling the strict demands of concrete placement that Ando demanded for this work.
    If a fraction of the concerns that went into this building were applied to the rest of the urban environment St. Louis would be a much different place to live.

  6. PC says:

    Ando created a sculptural masterpiece with the Pulitzer. Look more deeply. Look at the texture and composition of the concrete up close, the proportions of the space inside, the light, the passageways, staircases, surfaces, and materials inside and out. Nothing homogenous about that building. Brilliant.

  7. Adam says:

    I find it to be an obnoxious museum whose docents follow you around like a criminal. Installations would be worth visiting for a laugh if the arrogant employees wouldn't hush you when doing so (despite your being the only people in the museum). One area that I thought was building debris (there was a tarp covering an opening, with some two by fours on the ground) turned out to be the art itself.

    • dustinbopp says:

      I have to agree that the docents are a little over-zealous and make for a less than pleasant experience in an otherwise stunning space.


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