Wednesday, October 26

A T & T

I visit the V & A's exhibition "Postmodernism," a movement from 1970-1990 covering style, design, architecture, music and fashion from Italy to Las Vegas (meanwhile Sonnet takes Madeleine thru "The Power of Making" which Madeleine loves). This period, which covers a good part of my conscious yuf, includes David Byrne's over-sized suit in "Stop Making Sense"; Grace Jone's angular features and Annie Lennox's androgyny.  The ultimate expression of postmodernism : Ridley Scott's dark film "Blade Runner."  Manhattan's AT&T tower, pictured, gets a nod and, since I walked by it almost every day for four years, merits a missive.  The tower part of the new "Midtown" which, by the early 1980s, offered a sexy alternative to Wall Street's gloom and doom and ancient infrastructure.  AT&T, along with PAZ , the Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Tower, the Chrysler Building and the MetLife Building defined the money movement - financiers wanted to be closer to their lifestyle : shopping, theatre, museums, discos.  Usual stuff.  So here is the building :

The AT&T Building (now Sony), is a 647 feet tall, 37-story, highrise skyscraper by Philip Johnson , and completed in 1984. It became immediately controversial for its ornamental top (sometimes mocked as "Chippendale" after the open pediments characteristic of the famous English designer's bookcases and other cabinetry), but enjoyed for its spectacular arched entrance way, measuring about seven stories in height. With these ornamental additions, the building challenged architectural modernism's demand for stark functionalism and purely efficient design. The effect the building had on the public at large has been described as legitimizing the postmodern architecture movement on the world stage. Sourced: Wiki (edited)

Post card image by Judith Grinberg for Johns Burgee Associates, USA, 1978