Architect Lebbeus Woods (1940-2012) dedicated his career to probing architecture's potential to transform the individual and the collective. His visionary drawings depict places of free thought, sometimes in identifiable locations destroyed by war or natural disaster, but often in future cities. Woods, who sadly passed away last year as planning for this exhibition was under way, had an enormous influence on the field of architecture over the past three decades, and yet the built structures to his name are few. The extensive drawings and models on view present an original perspective on the built environment — one that holds high regard for humanity's ability to resist, respond, and create in adverse conditions. "Maybe I can show what could happen if we lived by a different set of rules," he once said. SFMOMA has collected Woods's work since the mid-1990s, amassing the broadest collection of his work anywhere; the exhibition will feature these holdings, as well as a selection of loans from institutional and private collections.
For additional information on Woods, watch for our April Artcast and stay tuned to our social media channels and our blog, Open Space, over the course of the exhibition; we've commissioned a series of texts reflecting on Woods's practice and will be publishing pages from his sketchbook from 1995-98, when he traveled to San Francisco and Europe.
Lebbeus Woods, Architect is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Generous support is provided by the Negley Flinn Charitable Foundation.
Lebbeus Woods, Quake City, from the series San Francisco Project: Inhabiting the Quake, 1995; graphite and pastel; Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Estate of Lebbeus Woods