Tuesday, 9 December 2014

House of Glass

The next point of note in the tour was the Phillip Johnson Glass house in New Canaan, Connecticut. Upon entering the building prior to our guided tour I was unsure of what to expect from the glass house except literally that, a house made of glass. We first saw the property the glass house is situated on from a small bus. Once off the bus our tour guide told us about Phillip Johnson and his property.

The concept of manipulation of nature for aesthetic and artistic purposes was introduced to us at this point. This left me confused as isn't the point of nature to be natural. Phillip Johnson apparently didn't think so, which we saw as we progressed through our tour. He used or manipulated the landscape to his advantage, this included framing views similarly to portraits, using trees or buildings or the pathway. Also the road/pathway was specifically designed my Phillip Johnson to direct people where to go in order to view the property in the certain way that he envisioned. The glass house itself is something to behold and I think it takes something as mundane and ordinary as a house and elevates it into a work of art.  Everything inside the house is deliberate, to add to the effect, in particular are two things, the view out of the back of the house which Phillip Johnson again manipulated into an idealised and artistic version of nature, by having many trees removed as well as having branches removed from the remaining trees to obtain the specific aesthetic qualities of the view, that he desired. Also this manipulation played a role in matching up the outside view to the painting in the house as if to suggest that the view is an extension of the painting and therefore artwork in the form of nature albeit edited and manipulated. This experience challenged my notion of what can be considered art and taught me that art is limitless and can blur many disciplines. Also this tour introduced the concept of manipulation of the natural for aesthetic purposes, which leaves only a representation or the natural.

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