Before the closing of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, I examined the 3-D models on display of Shohei Shigmatsu’s design for the new North Building and Olfur Eliasson’s design for his Common Sky canopy to be installed in the old sculpture court of Gordon Bunshaft’s addition.
I was struck by how unique and iconic Eliasson’s sculpture will be. It is a perfect fit for the timeless design of Bunshaft’s addition. In sharp contrast, I found Shigmatsu’s design of the new North Building to be monolithic and out of scale with its surroundings.
I think that the gallery missed a ground-breaking opportunity to also retain Eliasson to collaborate with Shigmatsu on the new addition’s design. Eliasson has previously collaborated with many other architects.
I believe that Eliasson is a visionary whose multidisciplinary approach fuses the fine line between art and architecture. His past collaborations have created some remarkable buildings. I expect more for a $130 million bet on the museum’s future, and we certainly deserve more.
George Eagan Ginther