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Indepth Arts News:

"In-Depth: The House of Spiritual Retreat by Emilio Ambasz"
2005-11-23 until 2006-03-26
Museum of Modern Art
New York, NY, USA

Emilio Ambasz originally designed the House of Spiritual Retreat in 1979 for an imaginary site near Cordoba, Spain. It was constructed only last year, on a hilly, arid landscape outside of Seville. Featuring two white walls situated at a ninety-degree angle and a long stairway descending into a sunken patio, the house reformulates the vernacular Andalusian courtyard house into a surrealistic reverie, a mythic, phantasmagorical dwelling. The living quarters, which surround the patio on the other two sides, are recessed below the ground, using the earth’s covering to insulate them from the strong southern sun.

In-Depth explores Ambasz’s project through seven drawings, a pair of models, and a selection of recent photographs. It is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions designed to focus on single works of contemporary architecture.

Organized by Tina di Carlo, Assistant Curator, Department of Architecture and Design.

Emilio Ambasz states, "We are beginning to understand that, like the ancient people of non-Greek cultures, we should see humanity not in contrast to, but as an integral part of both, the natural and the man-made milieus. Man should not see himself as a separate entity, detached from nature, but should accept his existence as part of it. Similarly, the artifacts we create should not be proud aliens, but rather should be designed as carefully and intricately woven extensions of the larger natural and man-made domains surrounding us."


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