5 Oct – 12 Dec 2016
Lisbon Architecture Triennale / 5 Oct – 11 Dec 2016
5.10 – 11.12 2016

The Shape of Plain

©Pedro Sadio

The Shape of Plain examines the impact of history of art on artistic and architectural practices through the work of American art historian, George Kubler.

In his 1962 book, The Shape of Time, Kubler proposed a radical philosophy of the history of art as the history of all things, which was highly influential to a generation of artists, such as Ad Reinhardt, Robert Morris, Robert Smithson, and John Baldessari, all of whom quoted it in their essays and works.

In his 1972 book, Portuguese Plain Architecture: Between Spices and Diamonds, Kubler established the paradigm of plain architecture, which gradually evolved into a tradition accepted by contemporary architectural practices in Portugal.

The aforementioned American artistic practices of the 1960s share some essential features with post-1970 architectural practices in Portugal, belonging to the same family of ideas: plain arts.

The exhibition features four installations – all sequences of images in the form of lectures – that taken together shed light on a myriad of themes: the relationship between the plain arts over time and in different places, the role of the lecture in artistic production, and the influence of history on artistic and architectural work over the past fifty years.


Architectural Ambiguities
Wednesday, 23 November, 6:00 p.m.
Auditorium 3
Free admission

Round Table – Plain Arts
Guests: Joana Cunha Leal, João Vieira Caldas, Jorge Figueira, Sérgio Fazenda Rodrigues
Moderator: Eliana Sousa Santos

Wednesday, 14 December, 6:00 p.m.
Auditorium 3
Free admission

Compare, Contrast, Conflate and Confound the Wise. Ad Reinhardt’s Subversive Slide Talks
with Robert Storr
Thursday, 5 January 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Auditorium 3
Free admission

Guided Tours
Concept by Margarida Carmona
Wednesday, 16 November, 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, 26 November, 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, 17 December, 3:00 p.m.


Opening Times

10.00am - 6.00pm
Closed on Tuesdays
Ticket: 3€

7 October - 9 January


Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Av. de Berna 45A
1067-001 Lisbon


6 October, 6.30pm

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