Beyond Environment

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Ice House I: Minneapolis 1971 © Courtesy of the Artist and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
Beyond Environment

6522 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
September 4th, 2014 - November 9th, 2014
Opening: September 4th, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Wed-Sun 12-6


Beyond Environment explores the potent interchange between architecture, Land Art, and Performance Art that emerged through Italian architect Gianni Pettena’s collaboration with American artists Allan Kaprow and Robert Smithson in the 1970s.

Captivated by a journey to the USA in 1971, Pettena’s About Non Conscious Architecture series would converse with the American Midwest, a conversation culminating in his meeting with Robert Smithson in Salt Lake City. Earlier, while in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pettena’s experiments in material transformations helped create some of architect’s most iconic works. Staged in Minneapolis in an abandoned school and in a non-descriptive suburban house, and titled Ice House I and II, Pettena would pour water into the mold works he created around the buildings’ perimeter walls. Curing during the winter night to a coat of ice, the houses resonated with their conceptual predecessor, Kaprow’s Fluids of 1967, as well as with a newer contemporary architectural sensibly concerned with the effects of variedly compounded, highly eidetic architectural surfaces.

Curated by Emanuele Piccardo and Amit Wolf, in collaboration with Woodbury University and the Graham Foundation, Beyond Environment combines approximately thirty works by Pettena, Kaprow, Smithson, as well as from Pettena’s Florentine milieu, that of Superarchitecture and the Italian “Radical" groups UFO, Superstudio, and 9999.


Emanuele Piccardo is an architect, photographer, filmmaker, and curator. He lectured at Princeton University, Pratt Institute, IUAV, Politecnico di Milano. In 2002, Piccardo founded the architecture magazine In 2011 he founded the magazine archphoto 2.0, the printed, upgraded version, part of the project Archizines ideated by Elias Redstone. Since 2005 Piccardo has curated architectural research about the Superarchitettura, most recently the exhibition Radical City in Turin (2012). As a photographer and filmmaker he has exhibited in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; the MAXXI Museum, Rome; and the Milan Triennale. His documentary films include Fango (2012; Award of Excellence, Los Angeles Movie Award) and Lettera22 (2009, Award of Best Architecture Film, International Asolo Art Film Festival, Official selection Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam). In 2013 he won the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Amit Wolf is an architect, a writer and a curator.  He has curated several exhibitions and events collaboratively in Los Angeles. Wolf teaches courses in architecture history and theory at SCI-Arc. He previously taught at Otis, Woodbury University, and UCLA. He is the recipient of the 2007 Clinton Webb Award, the 2012 California Interdisciplinary Consortium of Italian Studies Award, and the 2013 Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Wolf’s publications have to date focused on the areas of Italian experimentalist practice as well as on theoretical issues in contemporary architecture. HisFabrication and Fabrication (2014) explores computational advances in the field. Wolf received his Master of Architecture degree from the Politecnico di Milano in 2001. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art from UCLA in 2012.

Pentagon (Dale Strong / Paul Trussler / Paul Stoelting / Tyler McMartin) is a Los Angeles based architecture group formed by its members while graduate students at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. For Beyond Environment, Pentagon designed ”Sonic,” a physical diagram, defining a procession of media viewing lamina.

Beyond Environment is made possible by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and by Woodbury University School of Architecture. Important contributors also include the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and Fondazione Azzura.


September 4, 2014 – Opening reception, 7PM, at LACE, featuring the Beyond Environment catalog signing with Gianni Pettena.