High to Present Exhibition on Work and Design Process of Atlanta Architect John Portman
ATLANTA, July 23, 2010—The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center will welcome “John Portman: Art & Architecture,” an exhibition featuring architectural projects, furniture, paintings and sculpture by Atlanta-based architect and artist John Portman from 20 July through 19 September 2010. The fifteen architectural projects that will be featured span five decades of national and international developments, including the Hyatt Regency Atlanta (1967), which is globally renowned as the first modern atrium hotel. The exhibition will also feature furniture, paintings and sculpture by Mr. Portman—most of which have never before been publicly exhibited.
“John Portman: Art & Architecture” is organized by the High Museum of Art and accompanied by a full-color catalogue with a major essay by Paul Goldberger, noted historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for “The New Yorker” since 1997. The catalogue is distributed by the University of Georgia Press.
“John Portman has not only radically altered the skyline of his home city, Atlanta, but cities throughout the world,” stated Jeffrey Grove, the exhibition curator. “His reconsideration of how architecture should function and the experience it should offer visitors completely changed the industry. Early in his career, Portman understood that to realize his vision completely, he must add ‘Developer’ to his role as Architect. All these themes will be addressed in the exhibition.”
“Art and Architecture” will highlight nine John Portman & Associates projects from Asia: Marina Square, Singapore, 1987; Tomorrow Square, Shanghai, China, 2003; Beijing Yintai Centre, Beijing, China, 2008; and current projects including Jin Hongqiao International Center, Shanghai, China; Zhe Jiang Fortune Finance Center, Hangzhou, China; Wenzhou Zhixin Plaza, Wenzhou, China; Songdo Landmark City Master Plan, Incheon, Korea and Incheon 151 Tower at Songdo Landmark City, Incheon, Korea; and Portman House, Jian Ye Li, Shanghai, China.
U.S.-based projects include Entelechy I, Portman’s Atlanta home, 1964; Atlanta Hyatt Regency, 1967; Peachtree Center, Atlanta, 1976; The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, 1976; Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, 1985; SunTrust Plaza, Atlanta, 1993; Entelechy II, Portman’s Sea Island, Georgia, home, 1986; Embarcadero Center and Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, California, 1971–1988; Renaissance Center, Detroit, Michigan, 1976; and The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles, California, 1977.
John Portman, a native of Atlanta, received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1950, and after a three-year apprenticeship opened his own firm in 1953. In 1956, he teamed up with H. Griffith Edwards to form Edwards & Portman Architects. When Edwards retired in 1968, the firm became John Portman & Associates.
In Atlanta, Portman is best known for the 14-block Peachtree Center complex that attests to his commitment to the downtown business district and includes many of his landmark projects. Peachtree Center began in 1960 with the opening of the Atlanta Merchandise Mart, now known as AmericasMart, the world’s largest wholesale marketplace. His three major downtown hotels, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, The Westin Peachtree Plaza and the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, anchor the convention district. With the opening of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in 1967, with its 22-story atrium, Portman made architectural history and won international acclaim.
Portman’s international work began with the design and development of the Brussels Trade Mart in 1975, then shifted to the Far East. The Regent Singapore was Portman’s first international hotel, followed by Marina Square, a major complex that includes three hotels, a major retail mall and an office building. Portman began working in China in 1980. His pioneer project there, Shanghai Centre, a large, mixed-use complex, has been described as “one of the five architectural stars in mainland China.” Today, much of the firm’s work continues to be in Asia with ongoing projects throughout China, Korea and India.
Portman began creating paintings and sculptures in the early 1980s after years of integrating art into the architectural environment, including furniture and lighting of his own design. His architectural awards include the 1976 Elsie de Wolf award from the American Society of Interior Designers, New York Chapter, the 1978 AIA Medal from the American Institute of Architects, the 1981 Silver Medal Award from the Atlanta Chapter of AIA and the 1984 Urban Land Institute’s Award of Excellence for Embarcadero Center. In 1986 the Georgia Institute of Technology presented him with the Exceptional Achievement Award. In 1992 the Atlanta College of Art awarded Portman an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts. In 1994 he was elected National Academician at the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York. Portman is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, has served as a board member of the Atlanta College of Art and is Trustee Emeritus of the Atlanta Arts Alliance.
John Portman & Associates/Portman Holdings
John Portman & Associates, Inc. is an internationally recognized architectural and engineering firm with offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and Shanghai, China. Established in 1953, the firm has 55 years of expertise in designing hotels, offices, trade marts, universities and mixed-use urban complexes. Portman Holdings—Portman’s development company—is internationally recognized for its domestic and international projects.
The 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 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-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 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 ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit www.woodruffcenter.org.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center
The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center is the first museum of its kind in China to showcase a city’s development and is also the first city-planned tourism spot to receive AAAA rating. Housed in a five storey building, the Center covers a total floor space of more than 7,000 square meters. In addition, located within the Center’s basement is a 100-meter-long mock up of a Shanghai street in the 1930s.
Themed “City, Citizens, Environment and Development”, the Center showcases the past and present of Shanghai, and forecasts the future. Through modern methods of display and advanced technologies, the Center vividly portrays the transformation of what used to be a tiny fishing village into an international metropolis.
Since its opening in 2000, the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center has been dedicated to international exchanges in art and architecture. Already regarded as a city icon, the Center offers a “Window to the City” where people can learn about Shanghai. To date, the Center has held over 100 cultural exhibitions in various fields and attracted over five million visitors from home and abroad.