It doesn’t take a hard-hat worker to appreciate the raw beauty of a building in construction. And for anyone who has never had the chance to work on the latest high- profile museum, concert hall, or trophy academic building, New York–based photographer Stanley Greenberg captures these structures as they go up, when few would consider them camera ready. His best images, such as this isolated view of a tower-like form that supports Coop Himmelb(l)au’s 2007 Akron Art Museum, frame elements with a detached precision that recalls Bernd and Hilla Becher’s photographs of industrial and vernacular building types. Greenberg reminds us that what lies beneath the skin of today’s avant-garde architecture is often as interesting as what we see on opening day.
An exhibition of Greenberg’s photos, Architecture Under Construction, including images of buildings by Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry, among others, is on view at the Art Institute of Chicago through September 6. A book with the same title is available from the University of Chicago Press, with an introduction by Joseph Rosa.