Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac
FEB 2020 - OCT 2020

Experience Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac through the film by Spirit of Space. Click here to watch.

The exhibition Poured Architecture establishes a dialogue between the late Spanish architect Miguel Fisac and the contemporary work of the Basque-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sergio Prego. Through a new body of work supported by a Graham Foundation Fellowship, Prego explores the possibility and synchronicity of materials and processes across architecture and visual art in a new series of sculptures and drawings inspired by Fisac’s innovative architecture and construction techniques. Here, Prego plays with scale and texture and creates his pneumatic and concrete structures within the context of Fisac’s methodology—chiefly arquitectura vertida (poured architecture), the patented cast concrete system that Fisac created. Drawings by Prego, displayed alongside facsimiles of material culled from Fisac’s archive, further illustrate the confluence of the two practices that both employ themes of material fluidity and malleability and investigate using materials such as plastic, concrete, and aluminum. This exhibition invites a multifaceted conversation about architectural imagination, experimentation, and material expression.

Sergio Prego (b. 1969) is a Basque artist, part of the experimental 1990s Arteleku project in San Sebastián, and is currently based in Brooklyn. His mainly sculptural practice embraces a sensitive approach to materials and technical strategies while maintaining the presence of the hand of the artist. Among his most celebrated projects are Primer Proforma at the MUSAC in León (2010) together with the artists Txomin Badiola and Jon Mikel Euba, the experimental pedagogical project Kalostra (2015) in San Sebastián, and the Spanish Pavilion of the Venice Biennale (2019) with the artist Itziar Okariz.

Prego was selected as a 2020 Graham Foundation Fellow—a program that provides support for the development and production of original and challenging works and the opportunity to debut these projects at the Madlener House. The Fellowship program extends the legacy of the Foundation’s first awards, made in 1957, and continues the tradition of support to individuals to explore innovative perspectives on spatial practices in design culture.

Miguel Fisac (1913–2006) was a key figure in Spanish architecture of the second half of the twentieth century and his works contributed to the modernization of architecture in Spain. He graduated from the School of Architecture of Madrid in 1942, and his first work, the Church of the Holy Spirit, was completed that same year. He was awarded the Gold Medal for Spanish Architecture (1994) and the National Architecture Award (2002).

Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac is curated by Carlos Copertone, Patxi Eguíluz, and Iker Gil. It is organized at the Graham Foundation by Sarah Herda, director; Ava Barrett, program and communications manager; Alexandra Small, senior advisor; and Ellen Alderman, deputy director, exhibitions and public programs.

Carlos Copertone received his PhD from the University of Extremadura, specializing in urbanism and regional planning. He is an editor of books on art and architecture at Caniche Editorial and has curated and developed several exhibitions, programs, and projects with Spanish cultural organizations. Copertone has lectured extensively in Spain and abroad and has been published in MAS ContextOpenhouse, and Architectural Digest.

Patxi Eguíluz is an architect, curator, researcher, and critic focused on construction and urbanism. He is an editor of books on art and architecture at Caniche Editorial and has curated several exhibitions and developed projects at various institutions across Spain. His writing has been published in MAS Context, Openhouse, and Architectural Digest.

Iker Gil is an architect and director of MAS Studio, an architecture and urban design firm based in Chicago. He is also the editor-in-chief of the journal MAS Context and editor of the book Shanghai Transforming (ACTAR, 2008). He has curated exhibitions for the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the US Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale. Additionally, he is the executive director of the SOM Foundation and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Special thanks to Fundación Miguel Fisac. Additional support provided by a grant through the Program for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture (PICE) from Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), Madrid. Production support provided by Javier Soto and Ozinga, Chicago. Gratitude for the Graham Foundation staff: Alexis Bullock, Alexandra Drexelius, Carolyn Kelly, Ron Konow, Jillian Lepek, Junxi Lu, and James Pike.