Rayyane Tabet, "Notes on Arabesque"

Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 7 - 8:30pm

Add to Calendar


The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture graduate Rayyane Tabet AR'08 speaks as part of the Spring 2020 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series. Please note that this particular lecture will take place in The Cooper Union’s Foundation Building, at 7 East 7th Street, in room 315.

In 2020, an improbable meeting takes place between Julia Morgan, an American architect, and Jules Bourgoin, a French architectural historian, more than a century after they were both at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. “Notes on Arabesque” takes as its departure point this unlikely meeting to reflect upon notions of appropriation and context. The talk will focus on “Arabesque”, Tabet’s current show at Storefront for Art and Architecture, to raise questions around architectural education, historical truths, chance encounters, and the migration of ideas.

Rayyane Tabet is an artist who lives and works in Beirut. Drawing from experience and self-directed research, Tabet explores stories that offer alternative understandings of major socio-political events through individual narratives. Informed by his training in architecture and sculpture, Tabet’s work investigates paradoxes in the built environment and its history by way of installations that reconstitute the perception of physical and temporal distance. His most recent and upcoming solo shows include the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Parasol Unit in London, Carré d'Art in Nîmes, Kunstverein in Hamburg, and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam.

This event is presented in partnership with Storefront for Art and Architecture. The Spring 2020 IDS Lecture Series at The Cooper Union is organized by Leslie Hewitt and Omar Berrada. The IDS Public Lecture Series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding and support from the Robert Lehman Foundation for the series.


Located at 7 East 7th Street, 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.