Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stanley Tigerman: “Paintings & Multiples”

Stanley Tigerman
Paintings & Multiples, “A Meed of Fealty for Moire’s Tensile Strength,”
Liqitex on mounted canvas
22" x 22"
Image ©Stanley Tigerman

Emmanuel Petit, in his essay “Nine Clouds of Architecture” writes that this painting is from “a series of oil and acrylic paintings from the mid-1960s [which] drew inspiration from Josef Albers, with whom Tigerman studied when he was at Yale; these are Tigerman's 'op art' experiments created through the medium of geometry.” (1)

Tigerman is a very fine draughtsman and his striking Op art image of the 60s, when rotated 90° and reduced, foreshadow the way he effectively represents water in architectural drawings like the one shown below.

Kingdom of Atlantis, axonometric, ink on vellum, 36 x 24.25", 1976-82
Image ©Stanley Tigerman

In addition, Tigerman‘s Op art paintings highlight his interest in visual ambiguity/uncertainty, which comprise figure and ground relationships. Perhaps these experiments in Op art portend his shift, by the 70s, from Modernism’s rational doctrines to postmodern unpredictability. Again, as Petit insightfully writes:

Tigerman first came to prominence at a time when late-Modernism tended to regurgitate the abstract forms of Modern architecture without much ideological persuasion. By the 1970s, Tigerman had set adrift the positivist certainties of architectural modernism, to which he had been exposed in his formative years. In particular, he confronted the rigidity of the Miesian grid with a more loosely defined curvilinear geometry. (2)
  1. Petit, Emmanuel. "Nine Clouds of Architecture." Cesi n‘est pas une rêverie: The Architecture of Stanley Tigerman. Ed. Nina Rappaport. New Haven: Yale School of Architecture, 2011. n. pag. Print.
  2. Ibid.

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