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January 14, 2010

This long weekend sees two exhibition openings and two closings worth checking out: a look at Iannis Xenakis's work and the changing understanding of "landscape" in New York, Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago in the Windy City, and Ewan Gibbs' drawings of San Francisco in the City by the Bay.

Ewan Gibbs, San Francisco, 2009; graphite on paper, 11 11/16 x 8 1/4 in.; Commissioned by SFMOMA; © Ewan Gibbs; photo: courtesy the artist and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
Ewan Gibbs, San Francisco, 2009; graphite on paper, 11 11/16 x 8 1/4 in.; Commissioned by SFMOMA; © Ewan Gibbs; photo: courtesy the artist and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
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Iannis Xenakis, Study for Metastaseis, c. 1953 Ink on paper 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches. Iannis Xenakis Archives, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.
Iannis Xenakis, Study for Metastaseis, c. 1953 Ink on paper 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches. Iannis Xenakis Archives, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.
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Oskar Schlemmer. Bauhaus Stairway. 1932. Oil on canvas. 63 7/8 x 45" (162.3 x 114.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Philip Johnson. © 2009 Estate of Oskar Schlemmer, Munich/Germany
Oskar Schlemmer. Bauhaus Stairway. 1932. Oil on canvas. 63 7/8 x 45" (162.3 x 114.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Philip Johnson. © 2009 Estate of Oskar Schlemmer, Munich/Germany
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Iannis Xenakis Study for Metastaseis drawing

On Friday, Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary opens at The Drawing Center in New York. (Earlier this week, Dwell senior editor Aaron Britt tweeted that this exhibition is the architecture event he's most sad to miss this month: "If only NYC were closer. You rule, Iannis Xenakis!") A true Renaissance man, Xenakis, who died in 2001, was a prominent musician who also worked as an engineer and architect (including a tint with Le Corbusier). The exhibit will debut over 60 paper works--from musical compositions and scores to architectural drawings and renderings--to the North American audience and is on display through April 8. The Drawing Center is also hosting a series of related events throughout the duration of the show, including a lecture titled "Architecture as Total ARt Work: Iannis Xenakis and Le Corbusier" on February 1 and a performance of Xenakis's music by Daniel Teige on Feburary 6.

Ewan Gibbs, San Francisco, 2009; graphite on paper, 11 11/16 x 8 1/4 in.; Commissioned by SFMOMA; © Ewan Gibbs; photo: courtesy the artist and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
Ewan Gibbs, San Francisco, 2009; graphite on paper, 11 11/16 x 8 1/4 in.; Commissioned by SFMOMA; © Ewan Gibbs; photo: courtesy the artist and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London

Also opening this weekend is Ewan Gibbs: San Francisco. The show, on exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from January 16 through June 27, features drawings of San Francisco landmarks and urban landscape in which they are situated. The SFMoMA commissioned the British artist to complete the sketches and Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, SFMoMA's assistant curator of architecture and design, will give a talk about the exhibit on January 28. Bonus: The museum is open free of admission January 16, 17, and 18 in celebration of its 75th anniversary.

This weekend is the final chance to view Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago at the Art Institute of Chicago and In Situ: Architecture and Landscape at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Iannis Xenakis, Study for Metastaseis, c. 1953 Ink on paper 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches. Iannis Xenakis Archives, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.
Iannis Xenakis, Study for Metastaseis, c. 1953 Ink on paper 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches. Iannis Xenakis Archives, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

Burnham's Plan of Chicago opened on September 6, 2008, to showcase 32 illustrations from the architect's 1909 Plan of Chicago, the largest urban planning scheme of its day which brought about "the string of stunning lakefront parks, suburban forest preserves, the wide boulevard of North Michigan Avenue, the bi-level Wacker Drive, and a broadened Congress Parkway," the institute describes. If you can't make it to the show, be sure to visit the institute's online exhibition, which includes hundreds of images of the Plan of Chicago and extensive accompanying text.

Oskar Schlemmer. Bauhaus Stairway. 1932. Oil on canvas. 63 7/8 x 45" (162.3 x 114.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Philip Johnson. © 2009 Estate of Oskar Schlemmer, Munich/Germany
Oskar Schlemmer. Bauhaus Stairway. 1932. Oil on canvas. 63 7/8 x 45" (162.3 x 114.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Philip Johnson. © 2009 Estate of Oskar Schlemmer, Munich/Germany

In Situ: Architecture and Landscape opened earlier this year, on April 8, to redefine the meaning of the word "landscape." The exhibition puts a selection of art and images from the museum's vast collections on display to visually discuss the changing attitudes about landscape over the last century. While you're there, be sure to view Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, on display until January 25.

If you know about a great modern art, architecture, or design exhibition or event happening this weekend that should be added to our online Events calendar, submit your suggestion here or add it to the comments section below.

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