Four immersive exhibitions to check out before fall rolls in

On-view Offerings

Four immersive exhibitions to check out before fall rolls in

Leandro Erlich.Elevator Maze, 2011. Installation view: Pérez Art Museum Miami, 2022. (Lazaro Llanes)

In the July/August issue of The Architect’s Newspaper, AN editors rounded up a few exhibitions at museums and galleries across the country to check out before fall rolls in. Among the on-view offerings are a close look at the long history of the buzzy building material mass timber; a survey of surreal site-specific installations from Argentine artist Leandro Erlich; a New Mexico show featuring video work from artist Bruce Nauman; and a multisensory installation focused on topics of accessibility, wellness, and BIPOC cultural expression in Los Angeles.

(© Noriko Inomoto)

Leandro Erlich: Liminal

Pérez Art Museum Miami
1103 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida 33132
Through September 4

Argentine artist Leandro Erlich’s body of work toes the line between the exactitude of architectural modelmaking and the symbolism of sculpture. His site-specific works play on viewers’ most banal, quotidian architectural experiences. They can even be slightly voyeuristic at times, as when an installation offers a glimpse through the drawn blinds of an apartment window. Each piece ends in surprise. The scale and depth of his works make the experience of encounter almost uncanny, largely due to his spatial sensibility: Called an “architect of the uncertain” by gallerist Sean Kelly, his architectural inclinations are on full display in his detail-obsessed oeuvre, which is always bending the rules. How could the everyday be so unsettling? All it takes is detachment and perhaps the rapt attention demanded of a visitor canvassing a museum.

(Paolo Fassoli)

REFRAMED: The Future of Cities in Wood

Chicago Architecture Center
111 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Through October

Mass timber carries a lot of weight: namely, the weight of architects’ expectations that the building material can be used to design ourselves out of the climate crisis. Though one of the oldest known architectural materials, and one that has been in near-constant use for millennia, timber (through its improved “massive” format) has taken on the mythic proportions previously reserved only for steel and concrete. This show at the Chicago Architecture Center showcases these changes and potentials by highlighting the buzzy material. Exploring specifically its connections to emergent concepts of biophilic design, the exhibition’s curators cite the integral human connection to natural forms and reasons for seeking these connections. Additional benefits and hopes for the architecture industry to embrace themes like well-being, mental health, and adaptive reuse are on display in the Drake Family Skyscraper Gallery.

(© 2023 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York)

Bruce Nauman: His Mark

1606 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Through September 11

Few artists practice what they preach when it comes to denouncing a favored medium. But Bruce Nauman, active since the early 1960s, has worked in almost every possible format. Instead, he is known for his subject: his own body, with which he uplifts the messiness of creativity. For his first solo exhibition in New Mexico, His Mark shows a mature artist doing his thing. (The superlative matters as it’s nearly a hometown show: Nauman lives nearby, outside of Galisteo.) New video works in a familiar single-channel format engage history and politics, while work in a fresher vein utilizes 3D scanning techniques on Nauman’s own form to create immersive video installations. Even at 81, Nauman admits that there is never an easy answer to the question of what an artist is, or how best to be one.

(Sam Wadieh/Courtesy enFOLD Collective/Materials & Applications)

enFOLD Collective: Black – Still

Materials & Applications
970 North Broadway Suite 203
Los Angeles, California 90012
Through September 10

Since 2021, Material & Application has hosted summer installations in its courtyard, which it shares with Craft Contemporary. It offers spatial immersion and activation for Angelenos. This year’s iteration takes this mission further: a multisensory installation by enFOLD Collective centers wellness, accessibility, and cultural expression by prioritizing the stories and perspectives of marginalized communities. The installation is made with simple, familiar materials: Plywood and plaster-and-lath walls are painted black, and the mortar oozes out from between the planks, referencing the nearby La Brea Tar Pits. Underground, oil seeps, and, even Blackness itself. The texture adds a human feel to the outdoor room, which confounds modernist architectural ideals—predicated on presumed whiteness—to make connections between bodies, the environment, and Los Angeles at large.