In the United States, mid-century architecture isn’t just clean-lined Bauhaus and International Style boxes. It’s also those idiosyncratic forms that peak and swirl, bubble and facet, covered in wood shingles or limestone or corrugated metal. “RENEGADES” exhibits this alternative history, viewable through an interactive 3D tour of an installation in the galleries at the University of Oklahoma, whose school of design during the 1950s and 60s was where it all began, under the radical pedagogic leadership of Bruce Goff. The architects of what the curators have dubbed the “American School,” including Robert Faust and Donald MacDonald, created structures knowledgeable of global and indigenous forms but imitative of none; relentlessly experimental, they also paid great attention to context and materials. It’s inspiring to see photographs and models of these flights of fantasy built across Oklahoma and beyond—and all the more crushing to realize how many have been lost to arson, neglect, demolition and redevelopment.
—Lori Waxman 2020-07-04 3:32 PM