Daniel Libeskind. Micromegas Project, Time Sections. 1979

Daniel Libeskind Micromegas Project, Time Sections 1979

  • Not on view

Libeskind's Micromegas Project established many of the concerns of the architect's project City Edge, Berlin, which was included in Deconstructivist Architecture. Named after a short story by the eighteenth-century French historian and philosopher Voltaire, the Micromegas project began with eleven pencil drawings, which subsequently served as studies for a series of prints, including this one.

"An architectural drawing," Libeskind has written, "is as much a prospective unfolding of future possibilities as it is a recovery of a particular history, to whose intentions it testifies and whose limits it always challenges. In any case a drawing is more than the shadow of an object, more than a pile of lines, more than a resignation to the inertia of convention." In this print, Time Sections, projected fragments of architectural elements explode across the surface of the paper, illustrating no single moment but alluding to events in both the past and the future. Libeskind was once a serious musician—he was a concert violinist by the age of fifteen—and he did postgraduate work in philosophy and history.

Gallery label from 2013.

Daniel Libeskind's Micromegas Project, named after a short story by Voltaire, began with eleven pencil drawings, which subsequently served as studies for a series of twelve prints. Libeskind signed both the prints and the drawings, considering them works of art. Their extraordinary line work was not intended purely as a graphic device but is related to the concept of time: "An architectural drawing," Libeskind writes, "is as much a prospective unfolding of future possibilities as it is a recovery of a particular history to whose intentions it testifies and whose limits it always challenges. In any case a drawing is more than the shadow of an object, more than a pile of lines, more than a resignation to the inertia of convention." In the print shown here, Time Sections, projected fragments of architectural elements explode across the surface of the paper, illustrating no single moment of time but alluding to events in both the past and the future. We look at Libeskind's drawing searching for familiar architectural forms and meanings; instead the lines repel, returning the eye to the surface and ultimately inward to explore the depths of our own imaginations. Libeskind was once a serious musician—he was a concert violinist by the age of fifteen—and he has done postgraduate work in philosophy and history. This diverse background strongly influenced his thinking as an architect. Libeskind's work is strongly spiritual, and breaks in many respects from architectural tradition. In early projects such as Micromegas, he created drawings that are not representations of a physical space but architecture in themselves.

Publication excerpt from an essay by Melanie Domino, in Matilda McQuaid, ed., Envisioning Architecture: Drawings from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002, p. 208.
Medium
Silkscreen on paper
Dimensions
26 x 36 1/8" (66 x 91.8 cm)
Credit
Robert K. and Barbara J. Straus Family Foundation, Inc.
Object number
271.1999
Copyright
© 2019 Daniel Libeskind
Department
Architecture and Design

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