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Foster + Partners
at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas
Recommendation by Patricia Mora

“The Art of Architecture: Foster + Partners,” a stirringly brilliant exhibit of architectural models, renderings and video, reminds us that a theory of things is already a theory of the psychological. The artifacts that surround us speak eloquently about the cultural milieu in which they thrive — and the collective psyche that produces them. This is a mantra known and practiced since a host of architects, starting with Buckminster Fuller and Frank Lloyd Wright, initiated a movement to closely align their work with surrounding landscapes. And this is a formative influence still very much in vogue and continuing with a flourish under the aegis of Prtizker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster and his eponymous design firm. "Foster + Partners" is calculated to accompany the firm’s completion of Dallas’ new Winspear Opera House, but it does more than celebrate any singular accomplishment. It’s literally global in import. One particular architectural model — London’s St Mary Axe (also known as "The Gherkin") — soars with a strident sensibility that seems both phallic and somewhat Middle Eastern in influence. It’s powerful. It’s graceful. It’s somewhat shocking. And it’s wholly appropriate for its time and place, not to mention a shifting geo-political structure. The world is becoming more “pluralistic” and, thankfully, architecture is showing us just how beautiful the changing terrain can be.

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