A Different View of Mies

Another Mies van der Rohe work is on display in Chicago.  Only this time, it’s in photograph form. 

 A temporary exhibit of photographs by Werner Blaser is on display at the Crown Gallery on the Illinois Intitute of Technology Campus.  Entitled, West is East is West, it is a comparison of van der Rohe’s architecture and Eastern philosophy. 

 Blaser, a student of both van der Rohe and IIT, visited the Crown Gallery several months ago and requested that the gallery house his exhibit’s first trip to the United States.  Previously, it was displayed in Switzerland and Germany.   

 â€œMies was here and Werner (Blaser) was here,” said Meg Raines, who works for the Mies van der Rohe society.  “It’s a neat little Chicago and IIT connection.”    

 The exhibit consists of photographs of van der Rohe designed buildings, including the Crown Gallery itself, displayed next to buildings found in East Asia. 

 Blaser displays the a photograph of the Crown Gallery, which was built from 1952-56 next to one of the Ryoko-in Daituku Temple district in Kyoto, Japan.  The similarity of the two designs is the emphasis on making the interior of each building resemble outside spaces. 

 Other overlapping themes include architecture providing a frame for nature, which can be seen in van der Rohe’s design for 860-880 Lake Shore Drive and a Chinese pavilion on West Lake His-hu in Hangchow. 

 The exhibit is on display until July 29 and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays with an entrance fee of $5.  The Crown Gallery is located at 3360 S. State Street.   

Discuss