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Franco Purini: Selected Works

Tue, Oct 17, 2017 2:01pm - Sat, Dec 2, 2017 7pm

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Principio Urbano / Urban Beginning, 2007
Principio Urbano / Urban Beginning, 2007

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture is pleased to present a selection of original drawings by renowned Italian architect, Franco Purini. The exhibition includes twenty-six works completed between 1984 and 2016, illustrating Purini’s distinct and visionary approach to the representation of architecture through drawing, capturing his ongoing “research for the genetic principle of a building, of a city, of an intervention into the landscape.” In his contemplations on the act of drawing, Purini states: “With drawing, you can depict architectures that can be constructed or which live only as visual utopias; buildings that are no longer in existence that rise again through their graphic reconstruction; architectures that never existed and architectures that could never exist. Drawing is also the only cognitive and creative space the architect has to effectively know the physical world in which his works will exist."

Dean Nader Tehrani first discovered Purini’s work as a student of Architecture at the Architectural Association in London: "Looking back a quarter of a century, when Franco Purini redrew the city and reimagined the act of drawing itself, we come to recognize the resurgence of the city as a social, political and cultural sphere, with the re-assessment of modernism as an urban tradition. Through Purini’s work, we revisit history not so much to look back, but rather as a lens through which to look forward."

Franco Purini, is an Italian architect, writer and professor. He has been a professor of architecture and urban design at the I.U.A.V. and at the School of Architecture Valle Giulia at La Sapienza University in Rome, where he is currently professor emeritus. Since 1966 he has been in partnership with Laura Thermes, with whom he has shared theoretical investigations and design experimentations concerning the debate on architectural language and complex urban issues, following an approach that combines a strong rational component to figurative suggestions drawn from the classical tradition. For his achievements in the field of his professional and theoretical work, he was elected “Accademico Correspondente” from the Academy of Drawing Arts in Florence and is a member of the Accademia di San Luca. His drawings are dense with lines, references, and textures while his projects echo classic rationalism and tradition, with clear citations by Maurizio Sacripanti and Giovan Battista Piranesi, in terms of metaphysical suggestions.

Presented in co-sponsorship with the New York Institute of Technology School of Architecture & Design, in conjunction with Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment.

Gallery Round Table/Opening Reception
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 6:30pm-8:30p

Architectural Tropes Across Scales And Geographies: A Conversation With Rania Ghosn, El Hadi Jazairy, Maria Perbellini, Franco Purini And Nader Tehrani – Moderated By Felipe Correa

Exhibition Dates
Tuesday, October 17 - Saturday, December 2, 2017

Gallery Hours
Tuesday – Friday 2pm-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-7pm
Closed Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24

On view in the Second Floor Hallway Gallery of the Foundation Building.

Located in the Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, 7 East 7th Street, 2nd Floor, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.