In an interview with the News yesterday, the dean of the School of Architecture, Robert A.M. Stern ARC ’65, argued that criticism of the Loria Center for the History of Art, the recent work of his late friend Charles Gwathmey ARC ’62, will lessen over time. In an essay posted to the Web site of The New Yorker, Paul Goldberger ’72, the magazine’s architecture critic, also weighs in:
Toward the end of his career, he poured his heart and soul into a non-residential commission he cherished, the restoration and expansion of the Art and Architecture Building at Yale, by his teacher Paul Rudolph. The Rudolph building is an impossibly difficult neo-Brutalist masterpiece from 1963, and Gwathmey made it look better than it has in forty years. His addition is smart and well planned on the inside, and too complex and overwrought on the outside. It tells you all you need to know about its architect, who couldn’t bring himself to sit quietly beside his mentor. Gwathmey paid loving homage to Rudolph in the restoration, and then he wanted to get into the ring with him. I don’t think he was trying to show his teacher up. He just worried about what it would look like if he didn’t assert himself. He never wanted anyone to think that he didn’t have the right stuff.
Read the full appraisal — in which Goldberger calls Gwathmey “the architecture world’s Norman Mailer, with the same bravado, the same raw talent, and the same career-long anxiety about whether he could continue to equal his spectacular first performance” — by clicking here.
(Photo: Yale University)