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"Project Series 36: Predock_Frane Architects" Opens at the Pomona College Museum of Art

“Project Series 36: Predock_Frane Architects” will be on view from September 2 through October 19, 2008, at the Pomona College Museum of Art in Claremont. An opening reception will be held at the Museum on Saturday, September 6 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Hadrian Predock and John Frane will present a public lecture about their work on Tuesday, September 23, at 2 p.m.

In 2005, the Architectural League in New York named Predock_Frane Architects as one of six emerging international architectural firms. In 2004, they were selected to represent the United States in the U.S. Pavilion during the 2004 Venice Biennale and in 2006 they were invited to participate in the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, “Design Life Now.” Most recently Predock_Frane Architects won a series of awards for The Center of Gravity Foundation Hall—a Zen Buddhist Monastery in Northern New Mexico, and for the new Family Room at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

“Project Series 36: Predock_Frane Architects” presents a new installation, Inland Empire, reflecting the artists’ interpretation of components of the built environment—regional depot buildings, big-box retail stores, mini-malls, housing and the corresponding network of transportation corridors—common in the decentralized landscapes of the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties). Inland Empire consists of six building types caught in a typical chain of commodity distribution set in a 1:1 scalar relationship. These abstracted “boxes” are suspended by 376 lines of nylon filament which are analogous to the flow of freeways, boulevards, and streets. From the top of the gallery space, a model of the 1.7 million square foot regional depot building (the largest in the Inland Empire) hovers like a threatening spaceship over the other building types. With this piece, the team deals with issues of globalization, capitalism, conspicuous consumption, design, architecture, and perhaps most fundamentally, the developing interactions between the urban, suburban, rural and natural worlds increasingly prevalent in the 21st century.

Hadrian Predock and John Frane established Predock_Frane Architects in 2000 as a collaborative research and development architecture and design studio. Their practice consists of a dual, but intertwined, relationship between their building projects and their art/design projects. For each project, the team conducts an intensive and rigorous research phase that leads them towards the final installation. They typically incorporate everyday materials—thread, string, foam-core, wood—into objects or installations that function as an index to the existing mass of materials, subjects, and structures within the designated research locality. Here, Inland Empire, while analyzing the specific nature of the local landscape in the outer reaches of the Los Angeles megalopolis, also conceptualizes and reformulates the built environment to expose an underlying chain of relations and spatial configurations endemic to 21st century culture.

The Project Series, organized by Museum Curator Rebecca McGrew, presents Southern California artists in focused exhibitions. The purpose of the series is to bring to Pomona College art that is experimental; that introduces new forms, techniques or concepts. During each exhibition, participating artists spend time on campus working with faculty and students in relevant disciplines. The Project Series is supported in part by the Pasadena Art Alliance and Pomona College Museum of Art Advisory Committee member Sarah Miller Meigs.

The Pomona College Museum of Art is located at 330 N. College Avenue, Claremont. The Museum is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (909) 621-8283 or visit the museum’s website at www.pomona.edu/museum.

The Pomona College Museum of Art collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets works of art. The Museum houses a substantial permanent collection as well as serving as a gallery for the display of temporary exhibitions. Important holdings include the Kress Collection of 15th- and 16th-century Italian panel paintings; more than 5,000 examples of Pre-Columbian to 20th-century American Indian art and artifacts, including basketry, ceramics, and beadwork; and a large collection of American and European prints, drawings, and photographs, including works by Francisco de Goya, José Clemente Orozco, and Rico Lebrun.