city landscapes as architectural drawings
denmark’s louisiana museum of modern art celebrates its 2022 opening with a first exhibition presenting the british avant-garde architect sir peter cook. the museum has opened tuesday, january 18th, while the peter cook exhibition ‘city landscapes’ will debut on friday, january 21st until may 8th, 2022 as part of the series ‘louisiana on paper.’ the upcoming show featuring drawings by peter cook marks the first of the series showcasing drawings by an architect. the exhibition shows how cook, with drawing as his most important tool, over six decades has influenced and inspired architecture with his visionary ideas about new cities and life forms.
images courtesy louisiana museum of modern art
peter cook at denmark’s louisiana museum of modern art
with his avante-garde theory and vision, now on display at louisiana museum of modern art (see here) — peter cook has made his mark as one of the most important architects of our time. his work as an architect lives mainly in drawings while the number of built projects, one being kunsthaus graz in austria, is less extensive. visions of the future are most clearly expressed and can best be discussed in drawings, cook contends. paper provides an ideal opportunity to shake up conventional notions of cities and life forms, free from the demands and obligations of concrete solutions and materials.
peter cook, city landscapes, filter city, 2020 | © peter cook
the exhibition themes
the louisiana museum of modern art structures its ‘city landscapes’ exhibition chronologically, interrupted only by the theme ‘towers,’ which is a building typology peter cook has returned to over the years. with offers for reconstruction of existing skyscrapers as well as more utopian towers, named after places he has stayed in for longer periods — oslo towers, santa monica hotel and são paulo tower. his most recent drawings from the period 2010-21 lead the narrative all the way to the present.
according to cook, the exhibited drawings can be seen as notes to architectural themes that have mattered to him. each is a collage of ideas and methods; attempts to communicate about architecture through drawing. the drawing technique has always grown out of the overall idea of the project. all exhibited drawings are part of cook’s own collection, and the texts describing the drawings in the exhibition are written by cook himself.
peter cook, city landscapes, outcrop house, 2018 | © peter cook
provocative and organic spaces
looking closely at the seemingly complex jumble of his drawings, the viewer discovers spaces, building elements and people inhabiting the organic landscapes and everything is rendered precisely and to scale. the template is often a black and white original, which is copied onto, for example, watercolor paper, and subsequently colored with watercolor, pencil or gouache.
cook’s drawings should be seen as projects — proposals for new ways of shaping and inhabiting cities. this is a recurring feature in his work, going all the way back to the 1960s and 1970s when as founder of the neo-futurist architectural group archigram he and the other members of the group devised new and provocative ways of envisioning the city of the future. in drawings and collages, archigram introduced concepts like plug-in-city, walking city and instant city. a major voice in architectural innovation and debate, cook and the rest of the group sowed seeds that have grown into outstanding buildings.
peter cook, city landscapes, urban retreat, 2018 | © peter cook
peter cook, city landscapes, crazy city, 2008 | © peter cook
peter cook, city landscapes, inhabited wall, 2020 | © peter cook
peter cook, city landscapes, island city, 2011-12 | © peter cook
exhibition title: city landscapes
artist: peter cook
location: louisiana museum of modern art, humlebæk, denmark
dates: january 21st, 2022 — may 8th, 2022
louisiana, the giacometti gallery
louisiana, the giacometti gallery
louisiana, installation view, new acquisitions 2016-2021
the north wing
louisiana, the calder terrace