ARCHITECTURE MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Lars Müller Publishers

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Hardcover, 8.25 x 11 in. / 206 pgs / 284 color.

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Catalog: SPRING 2018 p. 45   

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ISBN 9783037785546 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $60.00

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LARS MüLLER PUBLISHERS

Michael Webb: Two Journeys

Edited with foreword by Ashley Simone. Text by Kenneth Frampton, Michael Sorkin, Mark Wigley, Lebbeus Woods.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Michael Webb: Two Journeys.'

Amazing architectural reveries from the Archigram pioneer

The artist Michael Webb, trained as an architect, operates at the intersection of art and architecture and is widely known for creatively exploring the outer limits of drawing techniques, including orthographic and perspectival projection systems. He is a founding member of Archigram, which formed at the Architectural Association in London in the early 1960s. The legendary avant-garde group is known for their fantastical projects that were often interpreted as critiques of contemporary architectural theory and practice.

Two Journeys is the first comprehensive monograph on Webb’s oeuvre and assembles sixty years of the artist’s work into a continuously evolving narrative about the multifaceted relationships among the built environment, landscape, and moving vehicles. He investigates these relationships through the act of drawing using notions of time, space, and speed, which are artfully mediated by the precision of mathematics and tempered by abstraction.

Featuring nearly 200 drawings, this extensively visual monograph includes essays by Kenneth Frampton, Michael Sorkin, Mark Wigley, and Lebbeus Woods, whose critical perspectives alongside texts and commentaries by Webb shed light on an extraordinary body of work.


Michael Webb (born 1937) is an artist and a professor of architecture. Born in England, he immigrated to the US in 1965 and is now based in Wakefield, RI. His work has been exhibited at institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, Cooper Union, Storefront for Art and Architecture, and the Architectural League of New York. His work has been published extensively in books and journals including the Journal of Architectural Education and Architectural Design. Webb has been honored with a fellowship by the Canadian Center for Architecture (2010–11), and he is a recipient of a grant from the Graham Foundation for the Fine Arts (2014). He has taught architecture and drawing for over 50 years at such institutions as the Architectural Association, Barnard College, Columbia University, Cooper Union, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design and Virginia Tech.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Michael Webb: Two Journeys.'

Michael Webb: Two Journeys

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FROM THE BOOK
Excerpt from "The Cone of Michael Webb" by Mark Wigley

The least interesting thing about Michael Webb is that he was part of Archigram. Thinking of him within such an influential gang of supposed misfits, who pretended to get along, severely underestimates how much of a misfit he was and continues to be. Fitting him into anything,
a monograph like this one for example, requires some violence. It is probably impossible to make even a small introductory essay about him without vandalizing work that is magical precisely in the way it eludes conventional labels, thinking and modes of representation. Webb has a certain ghostly presence in our field. Not the ghost of something past, departed, or faded. It’s rather that he has managed to be permanently arriving—as if he has been walking steadily toward us in an unwavering straight line for more than sixty years, with each of his small set
of around six or seven projects getting ever bigger in our eye in a kind of expanding ever-more- detailed cone in which the projects form widening Technicolor streaks as he adds more and more drawings and paintings to each of them. Yet this steadily growing and by now kaleidoscopically intense cone remains a phantom. We see more and more of Webb, and everything he draws and says is so surgically precise that our eye is ever more filled with ultra-high- resolution detail, yet the effect of all this sharpness is paradoxically cloud-like. Webb uncannily reverses the normal relationship between detail and focus. It is as if the whole point is to show us that to really focus on architecture with the highest possible resolution is to reveal a blur. Architecture, classically called on to represent stability and clarity, becomes a shadowy creature or series of promiscuous creatures mating in perpetually ambiguous motion.

There is a haunting quality to each of Webb’s mathematically precise drawings, a kind of dispersal of fixed limits that defies our attempts to pin him down. Or to say it the other way round, his work makes other architects look rushed and clumsy. If we wait a week, there
is always a new drawing or painting that tweaks a project that we thought we already knew. No project is allowed to sit still. Webb would still elude us if we waited another half century and studied and compared each and every one of the successive drawings in his expanding archive. Not because he avoids architecture, but precisely because he goes so deep. He is so relentlessly dedicated to architecture that he is almost unrecognizable within it. The very idea of a building is undone. All its material, organizational, and conceptual elements are taken apart, stripped, cleaned, reworked, and reassembled in a form that is no longer recognizable as a building and yet directly addresses the issues that buildings are supposed to address— as if the actual project is a kind of philosophical enquiry with the architect continually asking a small set of questions rather than offering a collection of possible answers. One of the least pretentious architects on the planet is deeply rethinking architecture from first principles.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/16/2018

Beauty and strangeness in 'Michael Webb: Two Journeys'

Beauty and strangeness in 'Michael Webb: Two Journeys'

This early version of Michael Webb's plan projection for a cone of vision related to his epic, fantastic, ongoing, decades-long Henley project, is reproduced from the new monograph, Michael Webb: Two Journeys, published by Lars Müller. "Webb's Henley drawings are mood pieces," Lebbeus Woods writes, "even highly analytical ones, the projection drawings, the dot-matrix drawings, the perceptual diagrams—these are imbued with feelings that defy conclusive explanations. Their essential mystery is the source of a power to fascinate and inspire, calling to mind [Francis Bacon's] epigram: 'There is no beauty that does not have about it a little strangeness.'" continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/15/2018

Still radical. 'Michael Webb: Two Journeys' releases this week.

Still radical. 'Michael Webb: Two Journeys' releases this week.

"Suitaloon" is reproduced from Michael Webb: Two Journeys, the first comprehensive monograph on the radical artist/architect and founder of the 60s avant-garde group, Archigram. Explaining this 2002 reprise of his "Cushicle/Suitaloon" car/house/clothing concept, ongoing since 1967, Webb writes, "The aim here is to have the figure meld visually with the inflated chaise longue, hence the need for her to have a bald head. The deflated chaise turns into a more normal garment, rather like a bag that can be drawn tight at the neck, except the neck of the bag is over her tummy. As the vehicle elevates to a vertical position the neck loosens so that she may step out of her garment." continue to blog


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