Described as having an eclectic, individualistic sensibility, late architect James Stirling is the subject of renewed interest and appreciation as seen in an exhibition by the Tate Britain and a forthcoming decorative arts sale at Christie's.
The Tate is hosting a retrospective exhibition covering the whole of Stirling’s career, from iconic buildings through to the late 1990s including the museum's Clore Gallery and the Tate Liverpool, as well as built and unbuilt projects, drawings, photographs and furniture. The exhibition is open through August 21. Entitled 'Notes from the Archive,' the exhibition is curated by architectural writer Anthony Vidler, who draws on the Stirling archive held at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.
On May 12, Christie’s will offer furniture, pictures and objects that reflect his friendships, his work and the spirit of the age in the Post-War & Contemporary Art Morning sale in New York. The event will feature contents of the architect's Belsize Park home, examples of British neo-classical and gothic revival furniture, Tiffany lamps, a sculpture by Henry Moore, a bust of Queen Victoria, prints by Eduardo Paolozzi and Joe Tilson, and a dramatic Pop Art banner by Roy Lichtenstein.
Stirling came under the influence of the modern movement when a student at the Liverpool School of Architecture. By the 1950s, now established in London, he shared his revisionist ambitions with a radical group of artists and architects that included Richard Hamilton, Peter and Alison Smithson, Edouardo Paolozzi and Colin St John Wilson. Greatly influenced by Le Corbusier, Stirling's Engineering Faculty building at Leicester University completed in 1963, is said to be an uncompromising triumph of modernism.
Stirling's vision found favor in Germany and America and the best projects from his later years are to be found in Berlin, Melsungen, Harvard and Cornell. Stirling is celebrated for the Clore Building at Tate Britain (below) and the office building in the City at 1 Poultry.