Hans Hollein, ‘Akt (Nude)’, 1974, Edward Cella Art and Architecture

Throughout his architectural practice, Hollein drew upon a strong foundation in the visual arts. In fact, when he participated in the Venice Biennial for the first time in 1972, he did so as an artist, not as an architect. Hollein’s foundation in the arts would influence the theories that would underscore all his projects. In Hollein’s words, “I have always tried to look at architecture through an artistic lens. Art is the link between an era to the next.” Hollein was interested in the way other media could be reconceptualized in architectural terms to develop architectural concepts. This belief was realized in art installations, drawings, stage settings, object designs, and collages. In his collages for example, everyday objects were invoked as replacements for architecture. Pills, sunglasses, inflatables, vehicles, and ultimately an aircraft carrier in Aircraft Carrier City In Landscape, 1964, are used as utopian alternatives to a conventional city.
This series of drawings is an example of work that stands as a counterpoint to his larger body, but reflects a continuity of creativity and his assertion that “everything is architecture.” Hollein’s drawings of the female figure, rendered in crayon, can be interpreted both as studies of the human form and landscape drawings. The valleys and swells of the reclining forms recall the topography of Hollein’s collages and studies, and reflect the artist’s wit, inventiveness, and tendency for combining seemingly disparate elements of sexuality, aggressiveness, and irony in his works.

Signature: Verso

About Hans Hollein