Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light will be the first solo exhibition of Labrouste's work in the United States to date and will highlight his work as a milestone in the evolution of modern architecture.
The exhibition will be on view from March 10 to June 24, 2013, in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, and include over 200 works, from original drawings?many of them watercolors of haunting beauty and precision?to vintage and modern photographs, films, and architectural models. Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light is currently on view at the Cité de l'architecture & du patrimoine, Paris, from October 11, 2012, to January 7, 2013. The exhibition is organized by Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, MoMA; Corinne Bélier, chief curator, Cité de l'architecture & du patrimoine; and Marc Le C?ur, art historian, Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Estampes et de la photographie. Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light is presented by MoMA, the Cité de l'architecture & du patrimoine, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, with the participation of the Académie d'architecture and the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève.
Henri Labrouste (French, 1801-1875) had dramatic impact on 19th-century architecture through explorations of new paradigms of space, materials, and luminosity in unprecedented places of great public assembly. His two magisterial glass-and-iron reading rooms in two Parisian libraries, the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève (1838-50) and the Bibliothèque nationale (1859-75), gave form to the idea of the modern library as a machine for knowledge and a space for contemplation. Labrouste also sought a redefinition of architecture by introducing new materials and new building technologies. His spaces are as overwhelming in the daring modernity of their exposed metal frameworks, thin masonry walls, new mechanical systems, and stunning luminosity as they are immersive and timeless.