High to Host Exhibition of Paintings, Models and Dinnerware by Atlanta Architect Anthony Ames
ATLANTA, February 23, 2009 – The High Museum of Art will host an exhibition of twenty-six paintings, eight architectural models and one dinnerware set by nationally recognized Atlanta-based architect Anthony Ames. The exhibition will showcase pieces from nearly three decades of work, beginning in 1980, and examine Ames’s role as a Late Modernist architect. “Anthony Ames, Architect: Residential Landscapes” will be on view at the High from April 11 through August 30, 2009. The exhibition will coincide with Modern Atlanta 2009 (May 12 through 17, 2009), during which Ames will hold a lecture at the High on Thursday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m.
“This exhibition demonstrates the depth of talent by one of Atlanta’s most important residential architects,” said Ronald T. Labaco, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the High. “Ames has acknowledged that his work is evocative of Richard Meier, so the installation of this exhibition in the High’s Stent Wing enhances this connection. The works on display are intellectual conceits, investigations into his ideas on architecture and urban design, and tools in the creation of form, space and order. We are honored to present this body of work and provide our visitors with a fascinating look into Ames’s world of residential architecture, painting and design.”
The paintings in the exhibition—inspired by Le Corbusier, Ozenfant and Gerald Murphy—showcase Ames’s interest in the two-dimensional depiction of three-dimensional space, decorative patterns, color relationships and narrative references. He often incorporates his paintings into the interiors of his finished residences, many as murals.
The eight architectural models on display reflect Ames’s interest in the construction of three-dimensional form and space, as well as the influence of the architectural designs of Le Corbusier, Giuseppe Terragni and Richard Meier. Ames uses, reuses and transforms ideas borrowed from these architects, reassembling them with a distinctive vision. As he has written, “The form of these houses is never novel in the sense they claim to be pure invention. . . . It is not novelty that interests me, but rather the piece thievery and the trail of evidence that it leaves behind.”
The modernist design of the dinnerware set from the High’s collection was inspired by purist “object-types” such as bottle, pitcher, plate and egg. The set was created by Ames for the Swid Powell series of dinnerware by prestigious architects. The series also included Michael Graves, Frank Gehry and Richard Meier, among others. Visitors will be able to recognize the dinnerware forms as two-dimensional representative shapes in the adjacent paintings on display.
For more than thirty years Anthony Ames’s geometric white residences have been a modern alternative to the prevailing tradition of historicist architecture in Atlanta and elsewhere. Ames is best known for Hulse House in Ansley Park (1984), and his local public commissions include the Orientation Center for the Atlanta Botanical Garden (1984) and the Fulton County Library in Alpharetta (1986). Ames has maintained a small private architectural practice since 1974. A graduate of both the Georgia Institute of Technology and Harvard University, he was awarded the Rome Prize in Architecture in 1983, and has taught at eleven colleges and universities. His work has been widely published and recognized through numerous honors, including the Architectural Record House Award for Hulse Pavilion in 1978 and the Progressive Architecture Design Citation for Garden Pavilion in 1982. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and of the American Academy in Rome. Two monographs have been published on his work: “Five Houses” and “Residential Work Volume 2.”
Exhibition Organization and Support
“Anthony Ames, Architect: Residential Landscapes” was organized by the High Museum of Art and curated by Ron Labaco, the High’s Curator of Decorative Art and Design.
High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the Southeastern United States. With more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s Media Arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005 the High opened three new buildings designed by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.High.org.
The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is the largest arts center in the Southeast as well as one of the four largest in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines five visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Founded in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, Young Audiences and the 14th Street Playhouse.