Tobias Putrih: After Frei Otto

September 1–October 10, 2010

Ludlow 38 is proud to present Tobias Putrih: After Frei Otto, an exhibition of new work by Putrih inspired by the work of German architect Frei Otto (born 1925, Dessau).

Putrih’s newly commissioned installation is accompanied by a presentation of a complete set of 40 publications (19691995) produced by the Institute for Lightweight Structures at the University of Stuttgart (founded by Otto in 1964) and video footage documenting the epochal work of the architect.

In the front gallery at Ludlow 38, the Slovenian artist has developed a new installation influenced by the early soap bubble experiments of Otto. Between a group of fixed points, soap film spreads automatically into the smallest achievable surface area. These experiments have helped Otto to design buildings with a fraction of materials used in other construction projects and made him one of the most important representatives of experimental architecture. Putrih adopts the experiments with an interest in their surprising effect and experimental nature, relating them to a history of architecture pedagogy.

Otto began to practice as an architect in 1952 and completed his first construction in parallel to Arnold Bode’s Documenta 1, a music pavilion for the garden show in Kassel (1955). He became known as an authority on lightweight tensile and membrane super-light tent structures and collaborated, among others, on the design of the German Pavilion at the 1967 Montreal Expo and the roofs of the Olympic Stadium in Munich (1972). The Institute for Lightweight Structures at the University of Stuttgart (IL) exists until today as ILEK, directed by Werner Sobek.

A list of the publications exhibited can be dowloaded here.

Tobias Putrih (born 1972, Kranj) lives and works in Cambridge, MA, and New York. Recent solo shows include MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA (with MOS Architects); BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; as well as Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (all 2009); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010).