The Glass House || The Art

The Painting Gallery

A Frank Stella dominion.

Frank Stella
Effingham II, 1966
Fluorescent alkyd and epoxy on canvas


Frank Stella
Brzozdowce I, 1973
Mixed media: felt, fabric, and acrylic on panel and plywood

Frank Stella
Hagmatana III, 1967
Fluorescent acrylic on canvas


Frank Stella
Averroes, 1960
Aluminum paint on canvas


Frank Stella
Tetuan II, 1964
Fluorescent alkyd on canvas


We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the Painting Gallery is built as a tomb, its exterior very much resembling that of the Royal Tomb of Philip II in Aigai, Greece. Philip II (382–336 BC) was the king of Macedonia from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC, and father of Alexander the Great. Our guide confirmed the design was, indeed, inspired by Kind Philip’s tomb.

**

The Sculpture Gallery

While the Painting Gallery was inspired by an ancient Greek Tomb, Johnson looked to modern Greece for the design of his Sculpture Gallery. His inspiration came partly from the Greek islands and their many villages marked by stairways. Johnson remarked that in these villages, “every street is a staircase to somewhere.” He liked it so much that he seriously considered moving his residence from the Glass House to the Sculpture Gallery. But then, he thought again: “Where would I have put the sculpture?

Robert Morris
Untitled, 1965-70
Three L-shaped units of stainless steel


John Chamberlain
The Archbishop, The Golfer, and Ralph, 1982-83
Painted and chromium plated steel

George Segal
Lovers on a Bed II, 1970
Plaster, iron bed frame, paint


Frank Stella
Raft of Medusa, Part I, 1990
Oil and enamel on etched honeycomb aluminum with steel pipes, beams, and other metal elements


Michael Heizer
Prismatic Flake #4, 1990
Modified concrete, steel base


Julian Schnabel
Ozymandias, 1986-90
It looks so much like wood that it was hard to believe it is made of cast bronze, patina and paint


An exterior view of the Sculpture Gallery

**

The Studio

The Studio, a one-room workspace and library, was referred to by Johnson as an ”event on the landscape”. When first completed, the Studio’s stucco exterior was bright white, but later Johnson painted it a soft brown color, described by colorist Donald Kaufman as ”stone greige.”

**

Da Monsta

This building, constructed of modified gunnite, is the closest to Johnson’s thinking about sculpture and form at the end of his life – what he called the ”structured warp.”

The name of the building is an adaptation of the “monster”, a phrase for the building that resulted from a conversation with architecture critic Herbert Muschamp. Johnson felt the building had the quality of a living thing.

I thought Frank Gehry would have felt at home here.

The Glass House

New Canaan, CT

November 18th, 2018

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