Untitled (S.R. Crown Hall)

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Untitled (2400 Lakeview)

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Mies Windows/Andrai Pop

It is a simple, spare object: showing a clean, well-lighted place. An aluminum frame cradles two color photographs in the same large format, showing two window panes bookended by their black metal frames. The sash in the center may be the same—if these are panes of the same window. Above both—if they are one window frame—hangs a white plastic blinds cover. The object looks like a puzzle. And a glance at the title reveals that we were right—these are windows—but puzzling ones. For these are windows in the S.R. Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology, designed by Mies van der Rohe. Where in that lateral monolith are such intimate windows to be found? The façade has three registers of windows—monumental upper ones, the man-sized middle windows, and the half-sized bottom windows, which are below the raised floor of the main space, basement windows really. Evron captured what looks like a sunset gradient in them: turquois turning by and by to the unlikeliest shade of orange pink. Why don’t trees and buildings and the feet of pedestrians intrude? They are frosted windows, which refract the light. It needn’t be sunset. And so the object remains a puzzle. I say of what it shows what I first said of the artwork. The window is a simple, spare object: the world a clean, well-lighted place.

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