As part of exhibition, The Cooper Union will install the Jan Palach Memorial adjacent to Cooper Square Park 

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art will present an exhibition highlighting seven built works designed by architect John Hejduk (1929-2000), founding dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture and one of the most important figures in the architectural education of the twentieth century. The exhibition, on view in the Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery fromMarch 29 through April 29, 2017, includes 43 photographs by Hélène Binet, Hejduk’s photographer of record. As part of the exhibition, the school will install two Hejduk-designed public structures as part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program in nearby Cooper Square Park, on view from March 29 through June 11, 2017.

A 1950 graduate of The Cooper Union, Hejduk significantly transformed architecture education in his role as Dean of the School of Architecture from 1975 through 2000. Celebrated for his written, theoretical and material contributions to architecture, many of Hejduk’s teaching methods remain a curriculum standard today. Several of his designs were constructed at a variety of universities and institutions through a forging of relationships between students and faculty that Hejduk referred to as the “Social Contract.” This exhibition, exploring both permanent and temporary built works will include the Berlin Tower, one of his largest built works, the cubist-inspired Wall House II, and most recently, the Jan Palach Memorial, unveiled in January 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.

“John Hejduk has been a touchpoint for several generations of architects, and his impact on architecture is immeasurable,” says Nader Tehrani, current Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. “More importantly, this exhibition offers a lens into that impact with a historical perspective as we begin to see his work in both architecture and pedagogy not only in terms of the seeds he planted but the forms they have taken on since.”

Recalling his “Social Contract” and the tradition of engaging with schools of architecture and cultural institutions across the globe, the Jan Palach Memorial was first constructed at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta in 1990, and separately on the grounds of Prague Castle in 1991. The memorial – one of Hejduk’s most socio-political works – honors the Czech dissident Jan Palach whose self-immolation in protest of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 served as a galvanizing force against the communist government in power at the time. Comprised of two structures – House of the Suicide and House of the Mother of the Suicide – the work will be reassembled in front of The Cooper Union’s Foundation Building from the original materials fabricated by Georgia Tech students in 1990. Hejduk’s renovation of the Foundation Building interior (1971-1974), is his most significant work of architecture in the United States, and was lauded by Ada Louise Huxtable when it opened: “the clarity and detail of the consciously sophisticated modernism of the interiors speak of the creative continuity of history and art.”

The Jan Palach Memorial has only been exhibited in New York City one other time, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in conjunction with the 2002 exhibition Sanctuaries: The Last Works of John Hejduk.

A fellow of the American Institute of Architects and of the Royal Society of Arts, Hejduk began teaching at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in 1964, and became the Head of the Department of Architecture in 1965. In 1975, when the School of Architecture became one of the three autonomous degree-granting divisions of The Cooper Union, he was named Dean and Professor of the School of Architecture. He served as dean until his retirement in 2000. His students include some of the most important working architects today: Shigeru Ban, Elizabeth Diller, Daniel Libeskind, and Toshiko Mori. Hejduk’s work has been exhibited in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Athens, Milan, Oslo, Berlin, Montreal, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Helsinki, Zurich, Prague, Rotterdam, Briey-en-Foret and Montreal. Structures from his projects have been built at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia), The Oslo School of Architecture (Norway), Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta), the Prague Castle and Jan Palach Square (Czech and Slovak Federal Republic), the City of Groningen (Holland), near Madison Square Park (New York City), Slussen Stockholm (Sweden), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and at the Universitat Politécnia de Catalunya (Spain).

Binet, who works exclusively with film, is one of the world’s leading architectural photographers, documenting both contemporary – often from construction through completion – and historical architecture. In addition to Hejduk, she has photographed works by architects such as Alvar Aalto, Raoul Bunschoten, Daniel Libeskind, Peter Zumthor, Zaha Hadid, Le Corbusier, Sverre Fehn, Andrea Palladio, and many others. Her work has been published in a wide range of books and shown in both national and international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale.

WHAT: EXHIBITION

Presented by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union

Hélène Binet    

JOHN HEJDUK WORKS

John Hejduk

JAN PALACH MEMORIAL INSTALLATION

Presented in conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program

WHEN:               Opening Reception

                                Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 7:00pm

                                Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery / Foundation Building Entry

                                John Hejduk Works Exhibition – Ongoing

                                March 29 – April 29, 2017

                                TuesdayFriday 2pm-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-7pm

Jan Palach Memorial Installation – Ongoing

March 29 – June 11, 2017

WHERE:                John Hejduk Works Exhibition

                                The Cooper Union, Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, 2nd Floor

                                7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

                                New York, NY 10003

                                Jan Palach Memorial Installation

                                Cooper Square Plaza

                                7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

                                New York, NY 10003

COST:                     Free and open to the public

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