Lived Space: Humans and Architecture

Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Self-Portrait, Castello Tancredi Gate, Bibbiano, Tuscany,
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On View Apr 04, 2018 - Sep 30, 2018
Exhibition Location: Museum

Dewey Family Gallery

From its humblest manifestation as a source of shelter to an art form that activates the imagination, architecture permeates our daily lives. Just as expressions like “corridors of the mind” and “window to the soul” illustrate the link between architectural elements and the inner world, the artists featured in Lived Space: Humans and Architecture explore our psychological and physical attachments to the spaces we build and inhabit. In their work, interior rooms function as receptacles of memory, emotion, and identity. Some artworks show the human body merging with the built environment, while others present purely imaginary structures that exist solely in artist’s mind. Drawn from deCordova’s permanent collection, the exhibition addresses our impulse to adapt and relate to our architectural surroundings, as well as the ways in which these spaces shape and inspire us.

Shown in the Dewey Family Gallery, Lived Space also considers deCordova’s architectural history, which has undergone many transformations since its original construction. Inspired by their travels abroad, Julian de Cordova, the museum’s founder, and his wife, Lizzie, remodeled their summer home in 1910 to resemble a European castle. When the building became a contemporary art museum in 1950, the gallery transitioned from a private to public space, its ornate décor replaced by clean white walls. These shifts in deCordova’s architecture, prompted by Julian and Lizzie’s personal history, dreams, and passions, suggest an intimate exchange between humans and architectural space that extends far beyond one of basic needs.

Organized by Scout Hutchinson, Curatorial Assistant.