Thomas Ruff, Herzog & de Meuron
Herzog & de Mueron and Thomas Ruff

June 5 – September 5, 1994
at Peter Blum SoHo

Peter Blum announces an exhibition of the work of the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron to be shown from June to September 1994. A major monograph will be published on this occasion by Peter Blum Edition, New York.

The exhibition ARCHITECTURES OF HERZOG & DE MEURON, PHOTOGRAPHED BY THOMAS RUFF will introduce to America the work of this influental and innovative architectural team. A partnership since 1978, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (b. 1950, Basel, Switzerland) are based in Basel and have completed major commissions in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and Austria. As a result of teaching positions in 1983 at Cornell, 1991 at Tulane, and 1989 and 1994 at Harvard, Herzog & de Meuron are best known in the United States within the architectural community. Their work has been noted and praised by, among others, American architect Philip Johnson. In 1994, Herzog & de Meuron were awarded the prestigious "Deutscher Kritikerpreis" in Berlin.

Major projects have included buildings for Ricola Europe in Basel and Mulhouse, France; University of Bourgogne in Dijon; and the city of Basel. Their work has ranged from major urban renewal projects to private homes in rural settings. The exhibition at Peter Blum focuses on seven important buildings. Models and photos of the sites illustrate the scope and range of Herzog & de Meuron's output.

The seven buildings have been depicted by Thomas Ruff (b. 1958, Zell am Hamersbach, Germany) in full color, large format (6 ft x 7 ft) photos. Ruff, who will be among the three artists to represent Germany in the 1995 Venice Biennale, is best known for his large-scale portraits of people as well as a series of photos of the night sky using a high-power telescope. His selection of particular buildings by Herzog & de Meuron points to their inventive approach to a variety of public and private commissions.

In materials as diverse as native stone, plywood, and silkscreened polycarbonate, Herzog & de Meuron have consistently applied innovative solutions to complex issues in planning and architecture. Avoiding a "signature style" the aim of Herzog & de Meuron has been to use architecture "as a thinking model for a critical perception of our whole culture. Our interest in the invisible world is in finding a form for it in the visible world. That is, in breaking through the deceptive visible and familiar guise to take it apart, to atomize it, before relating to it anew."


Buildings photographed by Thomas Ruff for the exhibition:

Apartment Building, Hebelstrasse, Basel, 1987-88

Storage Building for Ricola, Laufen, Switzerland, 1987

Private Museum for the Goetz Collection, Munich, 1991-92

Antipodes I Student Housing, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France, 1991-92

SUVA, extension and alteration of an apartment building, Basel, 1991-93

Ricola Europe Factory and Storage Building, Mulhouse-Brunnstatt, France, 1993

Signal Box auf dem Wolf (Railway control tower), Basel, 1992-95

The book ARCHITECTURES OF HERZOG & DE MEURON, Portraits by Thomas Ruff, approximately 200 pages in length, will contain: 7 full-color 2 page photographs by Thomas Ruff; over 100 illustrations, including photographs of buildings completed and unrealized, as well as models and original drawings by Herzog & de Meuron; an introduction by Terence Riley, Chief Curator Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; texts by international architects Rem Koolhaas, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Hans Kollhoff and Steven Holl, and Theodora Vischer, Director of the Contemporary Art Museum in Basel.

A related exhibition, Herzog & de Meuron: Five Competition Entries, will be on view at the Swiss Institute, New York from May 26-July 2. The show will include models and plans of competition proposals and unrealized projects.


For further information and photographs, please contact Peter Blum or Nancy Deihl. The PETER BLUM gallery is located at 99 Wooster Street at Spring Street. Hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-6, Saturday 11-6 and Monday by appointment.