Chicago Architecture Biennale

Chicago, Illinois

Exhibited as part of a group show of 140 practitioners, Atelier Manferdini’s dimensional wallpaper builds from the earlier set of works, “Building Portraits“. These portraits—ranging from small acrylic objects to fully immersive wallpapered environments—all originate from frontal photography of renowned Chicago buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe. Manferdini’s interest in the portrait as a photographic mode lies in the insistence of the frontal view. This is a view that, in architectural representation, is most commonly referred to as the elevation: a measured drawing that is flat to the page and without the distortion of perspective. Using front on photographs of van der Rohe’s Chicago towers, which were noted for their attention to the grid facade, allows Manferdini to bring the portrait photograph closer to the architectural elevation. We read the grid of the facade as flat to the page, while the tower‘s windows and supports become isomorphic with the printed page. Out of these portrait photographs, Manferdini’s creations proliferate layers of Miesian grids, delaminating into a woven surface with manifold colors and interlaced textures; thus, the image becomes information to be worked on and transformed.