This season of Art Omi: Architecture explores handiwork through hand drawings and glass blowing

In with the old, in with the new

This season of Art Omi: Architecture explores handiwork through hand drawings and glass blowing

Archaic methods and practices in the context of contemporary architecture are the common themes for two new exhibitions presented by Art Omi: Architecture, the nonprofit Hudson Valley, New York, arts foundation and exhibition space. The two shows, Single-Handedly: Contemporary Architects Draw by Hand and InConstruction: SO – IL, both opened on January 11. 

Single-Handedly brings together a collection of hand drawings from a group of 44 contemporary architects, focusing on a practice that seems to have become all but obsolete in the architecture industry today. The exhibition showcases the work of architects from all over the world, including Fernanda Canales and Liesbeth van der Pol. Taking on a range of materials and subject matter, the exhibition suggests that an important place for handmade drawings continues to exist outside the regime of digital and computational technologies.

Overhead view of a map that's been drawn on
Single-Handedly explores the use of unconventional modes and methods of architectural representation done by hand. (Bryan Zimmerman/Courtesy Art Omi)

Bending the rules and traditions of architectural representation, the collection shows handwork is as relevant as ever for practicing architects. Single-Handedly was co-curated by Warren James, director of Art Omi: Architecture, and Nalina Moses, author of Single-Handedly: Contemporary Architects Draw by Hand. The exhibition will be on view through March 1 in the Newmark Gallery.

InConstruction: SO – IL highlights the construction of Site Verrier de Meisenthal, an art and cultural center set within an 18th-century glass factory designed by the New York-based architectural firm SO – IL. The MoMA PS1 Young Architects prize-winning firm designed an “intervention” of the historic space that would bring a “contemporary institutional identity in dialogue with an industrial heritage” Through models, drawings, and photographs, the exhibition explores Site Verrier de Meisenthal, located in a French village near the German border, as a contemporary art and community space that continues the area’s glasswork tradition.

Once completed in 2021, the project will contain a glass museum, glass arts center, as well as a flexible exhibition and event space. With a poured concrete plaza that connects the disparate institutions, SO – IL will also bring renewed public involvement to the historic industrial space.

InConstruction: SO – IL  is on-view through February 9th in the Kantor Lobby.