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Ground top and basement bottom level plans of the gallery. In contrast to the glass walls of the main proach to art and life in which the question of autonomy ex- gallery, the lower gallery is enclosed with white paint and ma- tends to the curators and artists themselves. In these buildings, Mies the cityscape. Interior view of the main gallery. Photo: Milestoned, Figure 4.

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Interior view of the lower gallery. Photo: Luca Volpi, Figure 5. Detail of the steel column Photo: Author, In the essay, Rowe and Slutzky suggest is artificially lit from inside and glows brightly Fig. In many a duality: literal transparency implies a material condition, of his buildings, Mies used a specific type of glass that had a such as glass, whereas phenomenal or seeming transparency reflective quality, rather than seeing the superimposition of refers to a spatial organization and simultaneous perception reflections as an obstacle to achieve literal transparency.

The of different locations. He points to the dual character of image cation to architecture in terms of phenomenal transparency. Or is it that the visitor has seen himself rejected by do not obstruct one another. Night view of the gallery. Photo: Wolfgang Scholvien, Space, Time and Architecture, Figure 8. The reflecting quality of glass surfaces. Photo: Author, Meyer-Vitali, Figure 9.

Landscape view framed by steel structures. Photo: Willem van Bergen, The relationship between inside and outside is evident before conversely, becomes a mural for the artworks in the New Na- even entering any architectural work by Mies.


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In the New Na- tional Gallery. The changing views of furniture inside. The cityscape changes con- age to be displayed and gazed at Figure 7. Framing allows tinuously throughout the day and over the seasons, so that for the public to see what the architect wants them to see, for the transparent glass turns into a temporal, ephemeral, and example the glass surfaces of the Crown Hall , which reflective screen. When approaching the gallery from the ground level platform, it is possible to simultaneously see glass walls, an entrance level gallery, cityscape behind the building, and re- flection of the view on the glass.

Similarly, when descending to the basement level to enter the sculpture garden, it is possible to simultaneously perceive sculptures, greenery, the lower gallery, and to have a partial view of the city. View of the sculpture garden from the entrance level. Photo: the line between interior and exterior ambiguous. Author, To achieve flow and flu- ency through landscape, Mies avoided any unnecessary win- dow divisions, which would obstruct the view. You cannot di- vorce them.

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The outside takes care of the inside. Condensation problems on glass walls. Photo: Joseph A, As Sennett notes, it was a many precautions have been taken since then, but none have modern approach to establish interior and exterior visual con- been successful yet. For example, temperature and air circula- nections, but to seal off other senses from outside.

An infrared beam was used was the dominant paradigm of modern aesthetics, whereas to reduce humidity, and curtains were hung on the walls in or- tactile, acoustic, and climatic conditions were of secondary der to protect the artworks from the ultraviolet light.

Howev- importance to architecture. In the New National Gallery, the er, curtains produced static electricity because of the reduced precise disconnection between senses remains. The role of humidity and disrupted the view. One can perceive the The formation of condensation obstructs vision on both in- sculpture garden from the platform but cannot have access to side and outside.

Most importantly, it makes the air visible. Condensation acts like a veil, through which no gaze but only partial light can pass. At An on-going discussion about the glass walls elaborates the some points, one can peek from behind the blurry glass, as if argument. Cold weather and icy wind interfere visual and con- sneaking a look through translucent curtains. From the exterior, ceptual transparency in the gallery. In- vision of the gallery Fig. Benjamin, Walter. New Left Review, no.

Cohen, Jean-Louis. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

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Comay, Rebecca. This paper reflects the dilemma between intentions and out- 4. Giedion, Sigfried. Haag Bletter, Rose Marie. Oppositions, As Herzog and de Meuron argue, glass buildings became so no. Herzog, Jacques and Pierre de Meuron.

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Treacherous Transparen- them anymore. New York: Actar, Heynen, Hilde. Architecture and Modernity: A Critique. Korn, Arthur. Glass in Modern Architecture of the Bauhaus Period. Myth is beyond all aesthetic measures.


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Still today, art institutions presuppose for us an aesthetic frame around their holdings, on the basis of that impartial taste and disinterested pleasure that Kant saw as the measure of the beautiful. Mythological truth, by contrast, does not require the aesthetic mediation of a gallery or museum; it is part, and offspring, of nature itself.

The German philosopher Hegel recognized the profound implications of this shift, which he tied to early 19th-century Romantic ideals of freedom, among other things. His analysis of this shift still has remarkable contemporary relevance. He writes:. In our day, in the case of almost all peoples, criticism, the cultivation of reflection, and, in our German case, freedom of thought have mastered the artists too, and have made them, so to say, a tabula rasa in respect of the material and the form of their productions, after the necessary particular stages of the romantic art-form have been traversed.

Bondage to a particular subject-matter and a mode of portrayal suitable for this material alone are for artists today something past, and art therefore has become a free instrument which the artist can wield in proportion to his subjective skill in relation to any material of whatever kind.

The artist thus stands above specific consecrated forms and configurations and moves freely on his own account, independent of the subject-matter and mode of conception in which the holy and eternal was previously made visible to human apprehension. No content, no form is any longer immediately identical with the inwardness, the nature, the unconscious substantial essence of the artist; every material may be indifferent to him if only it does not contradict the formal law of being simply beautiful and capable of artistic treatment.

Today there is no material which stands in and for itself above this relativity, and even if one matter be raised above it, still there is at least no absolute need for its representation by art.

As Giorgio Agamben has pointed out, the shift that Hegel is discussing here is too far-reaching to simply be dismissed as past history:.