Lower Exhibition Hall

“Barefoot on White-Hot Walls,” now on view in the MAK Exhibition Hall, presents a survey of selected works by architect Peter Eisenman from the past forty years of his career.

The exhibition design produced by Peter Eisenman especially for the MAK is as surprising as it is disquieting. A faceless architecture transforms the entire exhibition hall, concealing and even negating not only the familiar architecture of the MAK building, but also the exhibits themselves. It is only by moving through the purposely low exhibition space that insights and unexpected views open up, revealing the works by Peter Eisenman on display and rethinking the relationship of the exhibition design to the original MAK architecture.

The works shown range from Eisenman’s early single-family houses to seminal projects such as the Wexner Center for the Visual Arts, Columbus, Ohio, and the large-scale projects currently under construction, including the City of Culture of Galicia in Santiago de Compostela and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin. Another important aspect of the exhibition is Eisenman’s relationship to theory and history through his writing and teaching.

Peter Eisenman’s work is complex and not always easy to read. His questioning of the essence of architecture is constantly evolving, overcoming such traditional concepts as façade, shelter, function, or representation to provoke a radical rethinking of architectural presence. In his confrontation with historical architectural phenomena in his analysis of the works of Terragni or Palladio and in his development of new design processes that often lead to unexpected and unanticipated results, the diagram plays a crucial role. For Eisenman the diagram is a tool to deconstruct and analyze architectural structures as well as the meanings inscribed in them. Therefore the exhibition presents an array of three-dimensional diagrams which trace his processes of design.

In this way, the exhibition acts as a three-dimensional psychoanalysis of Eisenman’s inner soul, giving an immediate physical reality to a dynamic spatial experience.

Exhibition Peter Eisenman, Peter Noever
Curator Tulga Beyerle
Co-Curators  Cynthia Davidson, Emmanuel Petit
Project designer  Pablo Lorenzo Eiroa

Catalogue "PETER EISENMAN. Barfuß auf weiß glühenden Mauern/Barefoot on White-Hot Walls", ed. by Peter Noever, with contributions by Peter Eisenman, Karl Chu, Greg Lynn, Ammanuel Petit and Pier Vittorio Aureli, German/English, 192 pages, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit, MAK 2004, EUR 34. MAK Design Shop