Architect Philip Johnson and curator David Whitney made their iconic Glass House a hub of discourse and experimentation in all things related to art, architecture, and design. Henry Urbach, the Glass House’s new director, hopes to revitalize that same spirit of creative community in part by launching two new exhibition series. The programs will showcase works by artists supported and admired by Johnson and Whitney, as well as contemporary artists who create in the same modernist veins.
These displays also will enliven the numerous outbuildings that Johnson built throughout the 49-acre campus. “Exhibitions and other programs will allow the public to experience the site in new ways, so that the Glass House continues to exist as a site of cultural production, a place of innovation and discovery," Urbach says.
The inaugural show will feature abstract artist Frank Stella, a personal favorite of Johnson who avidly collected the artist’s pieces. The recently created Scarlatti Kirkpatrick series will be on display in the Da Monsta building. Da Monsta was the last building created on the Glass House property and was designed by Stella. Johnson intended the structure to be used as a visitor’s center, theater, and exhibition space.
In addition to the Stella series, a never-before-seen sculpture by Ken Price will be on display inside the Glass House. This single piece will sit on a central coffee table designed for Johnson by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The table originally held a sculpture called Night, created in 1947 by Alberto Giacometti, but the piece began to disintegrate and was returned to the artist in the 1960s. Giacometti died before restoring the piece, however, so the table sat empty for years. This new program, also called Night (1947-2015) in honor of the missing sculpture, will feature a new work to sit in that place of honor for two or three months at a time. The sculpture by Price—one of Whitney’s favorite artists—is the first of this new exhibition.