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02.10.06 - 03.26.06 | SCI-Arc Gallery
Paffard Keatinge-Clay: The Work of Paffard Keatinge-Clay

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Paffard Keatinge-Clay's work resonates with a unique synthesis of the late works of the three first generation titans of Modern Architecture: Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe.This exhibition was the first time in two generations that his controversial work was presented to the public, and fostered an investigation into the social, political, and artistic trends impacting architecture at the heart of the activist movements of the '60s. Focusing on Keatinge-Clay's seminal works—the San Francisco Art Institute and San Francisco State University's Student Union—the exhibition also presented surprising and unknown recent work comprised of architecture, engineering, sculpture, painting and furniture design.

An accompanying publication, Paffard Keatinge-Clay, Modern Architect(ure)/Modern Master(s), is the first published document of Keatinge-Clay's work to be produced.This softcover, 200-page compilation features an introduction by Jean Louis Cohen, a statement by Eric Owen Moss, essays by Eric Keune, Stanislaus von Moos, and George Mattson, and interviews and personal writings of Paffard Keatinge-Clay.(See SCI-Arc Press section on we This publication was made possible in part by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Click here for more information.

Paffard Keatinge-Clay is a unique figure in American architectural history. He was born near Stonehenge in England, studied in London and Zurich, worked in both Le Corbusier's studio in Paris and at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin, and then settled in the American West, where he worked for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill before starting out on his own. While he remained in the US until the mid-1970s, and practiced there, his work remains largely unknown even in San Francisco, where he spent more than 20 years. His brand of orthodox modernism was decidedly out of step with the prevailing "Bay Area Modernism" exemplified by figures like Moore, Wurster, McCue and Turnbull, who dominated both the academic and professional arenas of the period. Keatinge-Clay had to struggle to execute his own expressive, nonconformist architectural language, and when he did, he garnered minimal recognition.

This exhibition, publication and Keatinge-Clay's lecture bring to light the importance of his work as representative of its time period and clarifies the influences his mentors — including Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra and Charles and Ray Eames — had upon it. This is the first retrospective study of Keatinge-Clay's architectural projects and, as such, is an important record of an academically and socially significant body of work.

The exhibition will tour to Montana State University in April 2006. Other tour sites are currently being negotiated.