The UNM Art Museum presents "Roadcut: The Architecture of Antoine Predock," where the stage is set for an in-depth and personal look at the life and career of one of the most prominent architects based in the Southwest.
Upon entry, the most visible elements of the exhibit are two motorcycles and two models. The models are enormous and, with the motorcycles, dominate the show for sheer attention-grabbing beauty and grandeur.
The first motorcycle is showcased as the favorite of a man known to possess an exceptional collection. A 1951 Vincent Black Shadow greets guests as they enter the gallery, followed by a description of the motorcycle and a montage of Predock participating in extra-architecture activities.
Toward the rear of the exhibition is a bright red Ducati sport bike. Christopher Mead, guest curator of "Roadcut" and author of a book by the same name, explained the Ducati's selection and the contrast it creates with the Vincent. The horizontal character line creating the top of the motorcycle lines up with the bottom of the framed wall exhibits, giving an understated continuity to the exhibition. This demonstrates the care and attention to detail with which the show was arranged.
The exhibition is expressed through a series of archetypes, each represented by a different Predock project. The categories are "New Mexico," "Place," "Aperture," "Ruin," "Pediment," "Dam," "Labyrinth," "Topography," "Bridge," "Tower" and "On the Silk Road to Asia." The projects range in scale and complexity from single-family homes to large city halls and university structures.
Also displayed is a personal collection of artifacts that further an understanding of both the work and architect by showing influences and sources of ideas.
A companion exhibition, "Like a Signature: Sketches and Models by Antoine Predock," consists of a collection of Predock's travel sketches and paintings, a Predock documentary and a collection of clay models shown with photo-realistic renderings of finalized designs.
The exhibitions make evident that Predock invests a lot of himself into his projects. Although no two pieces are alike, each element of the exhibit illustrates vigilant awareness of site and unique contextual considerations.
"Roadcut" is small and thorough, providing a diversity of projects in both typology and scale, and is expressed through a remarkable variety of exhibits. The careful control of variety ensures an eclectic, personal and systematic understanding of how Predock creates architecture, from beginning to end.
Story by Edwin Fairfield