Monday, February 10, 2020

Jean-Jacques Lequeu Visionary Architect at The Morgan: Review By Polly Guerin:

Jean-Jacques Lequeu 
A builder of architectural fantasies, Jean-Jacques Lequeu, (1757-1826) dreamed of becoming an architect and draftsman. With the zeal of youthful endeavor he began his career working on building sites, but ultimately he spent the majority of his life as a bureaucratic draftsman. However, before he died in poverty and obscurity, Lequeu donated one of the most singular and fascinating oeuvres of his time to the Bibliotheque nationale de France.                                                 Lequeu's oeuvre is rampant with curiosity, mystery and fantasy. Whether you are an architect or merely a voyeur, Lequeu's work deserves a look beyond the ordinary into the realms of extreme interpretation. You will not be disappointed, but perhaps be transfixed and mesmerized by the magical quality of his interpretations.  The exhibit has much to offer young architects today.
     The MORGAN MUSEUM & LIBRARY  is the first institution in New York City to present a selection of these works in the exhibition, JEAN-JACQUES LEQUEU: VISIONARY ARCHITECT,  through May 10, 2020. Some sixty of Lequeu's several hundred drawings are now on view in the first museum retrospective to bring significant public and scholarly attention to one of the most imaginative architects of the Enlightenment. IMAGE: Jean-Jacaues Lequeu (1757-1826) HE IS FREE, 1798-1799. Pen and black ink, brown and red wash. Bibilotheque nationale de France, Department des Estampes et de la photographie. A semi circular niche from which a nude woman leans out to free a songbird.
      
Draftsman's /Tools
Lequeu's meticulous drawings in pen and wash include highly detailed renderings of  and
imaginary monuments populating invented landscapes. Solitary and obsessive, he created fantastic worlds shown in his drawings without ever leaving his studio, and enriched them with characters and stories drawn from his wild imagination and his library. Working on his own, Lequeu produced animated self-portraits, erotic drawings and over one hundred designs for imagined projects. It is said that his drawings demonstrate a remarkable degree of skill and creativity, as well as an inventiveness inspired by antiquity and the Enlightenment. IMAGE: Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757-1826) Draftsman's Tools, from Civil Architecture,.1782. Pen and ink, brown and gray wash, watercolor, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Department Estampes et de la photographie. 
       Lequeu's brilliant career was upended by historical
He was born during the reign f Louis XV and was witness
to the death throes of the ancient regime, the upheavals of the new order established under Napoleon's Empire. His work created in solitude, and fueled by self-study, reflects his troubled times and his vision of architecture that defied
academic boundaries. The exhibition is accompanied by a 192-page hardcover volume in French. The publication provides unique insight into an extraordinary time, and allows the reader to follow Lequeu on the his obsessive and solitary course. 
Tomb of lsocrates
 IMAGE: Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757-1826) TOMB OF Isocrates, Athenian Orator 1789. Bibliotheque nationale de France, Departament des Estampes et dela phtographie.  Related programming includes WHERE IN THE WORLD IS JEAN-JACQUES LEQUEU? Meredith Martin, Associate Professor at New York University will explore various ways that Lequeu's corpus has proven to be fruitful for scholars as well as architects over the past two centuries. Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 6:30 pm. Then, too, there is a Curator Guided Tour on April 3, 2020 at 1 pm. for more information about this exhibition, tours and admission, visit www.themorgan.org.  The Morgan Library & Museum is located at 225 Madison Avenue at 36 Street. 
TA TA DARLINGS!!! It's amazing how solitary work can produce such unique  renderings
of imagined architecture and with such draftsmanship finesse. Don't miss this exhibit, It's a thrilling adventure into the realm of fantasmagorical imagination.
Fan mail welcome at pollytaknyc.gmail.com.
     
       

1 comment:

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