Deconstructed Architectonics

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  • Founded in 1948, the Art League is one of the oldest non-profit visual arts organizations in Houston and is the first alternative art space in Texas, USA. 

    But for some time, the Art League has generated relatively little interest amongst either the art crowd or the general public. Perceived (fairly or not) as more of a kaffeeklatsch for local artists of mediocre talent and ambition than as a dynamic organization with interesting programming, the Art League has, for over 30 years, quietly gone about its business of housing classes and exhibitions in a grouping of nondescript white houses in the Montrose.

    Over the years, there have been many abortive attempts to tear down those houses and make a grander architectural gesture; and it seems, finally, that this most recent attempt is actually going to come to fruition. To celebrate, the oft-disregarded Art League has sponsored what is the most exciting installation in Houston in recent memory.

    They asked Dan Havel and Dean Ruck to do something fun with two little houses, scheduled for demolition to make way for a big fancy new building. Havel and Ruck’s transformation, titled ‘Inversion’, takes two of the Art League’s decrepit bungalows and literally blows a hole through the houses in a gesture that seems to turn them inside out. The exterior wood siding of the houses has been torn off and placed within the void.

    The result is an almost organic, funnel-shaped vortex, a wildly dynamic conversion of two otherwise completely static buildings.
    Quirky street house art or architectonic installation. It looks a bit like an optical illusion, but surprisingly, what you see is 100% real.

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    References: www.readymade.com