ART: Works by 15 artists in new exhibit at Ursinus looks at architecture as art form

“Entrance” by Max Becher and Andrea Robbins from “The Global Village” Series (2004).

“Real Estate: Dwelling in Contemporary Art” points out that architecture is actually an artform through March 18 at Ursinus College.
As a press release from the college eloquently puts it: “From the monumental to the ordinary, and from the historic to the derelict, the architectural spaces that we construct, visit, inhabit, socialize or work in are more than structures. They signify history and within them dwell politics, shared memories and the fabric of everyday life.”
Is this in that really cool art museum they have on campus?
It opens Sept. 15 at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, which is accessible from the East Fifth Avenue driveway off East Main Street in Collegeville. The 15th happens to be the museum’s first open day of the new academic year.
Fifteen artists from the U.S., United Kingdom, Belgium and Venezuela explore elements of real estate — buildings, rooms, structures, monuments, properties and homes — and what each can say about society. There are examples of big and small, old and new, urban and rural, industrial and residential, and even ad-hoc structures by people without shelter, all represented in a diverse selection of sculpture, photographs, paintings, works on paper, films and videos spanning the 1960s to the present day.
“Real Estate” includes miniature metal models of historical sites of disaster; digitally composed photographs of “impossible buildings;” a “map” of the National Mall composed of 173 jars of paint; artist Ed Ruscha’s building-by-building documentation of Los Angeles’s Sunset Boulevard; a seven-minute video of a woman traversing the perimeter of a room without touching the floor; and other new and historical works that speculate on the junction of architecture, art, culture and environment.
Pieces include Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “Wrapped Reichstag,” Eugène Atget’s photographs of Paris, Trisha Brown’s “building walks,” Marcel Duchamp’s “16 Miles of String” and a series by Michael Mergen entitled “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” which documents buildings across America with the same street address as the White House.
What’s the admission cost?
Admission is free.
When can I go check it out?
Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
For more information visit www.ursinus.edu/berman or call (610) 409-3500.

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