Beyond Environment

September 4 - November 9, 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, September 4, 2014

Exhibition Dates: September 4, 2014 – November 9, 2014
Curator Talk: September 5, 2014

Featuring works by Gianni Pettena, Allan Kaprow, Robert Smithson, UFO, 9999, Gordon Matta-Clark


Beyond Environment explores the potent interchange between architecture, Land Art, and Performance Art that emerged through Italian architect Gianni Pettena’s idealized collaboration with American artists Allan Kaprow and Robert Smithson in the 1970s.

Captivated by a journey to Salt Lake City in 1972, Pettena created Tumbleweeds Catcher, a tower installation that cut across natural and manmade environments. Earlier, while in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pettena and Smithson’s dialogue around onsite material transformations helped create some of the architect’s most iconic works. With Ice House I and II, respectively staged in an abandoned school and in a non-descriptive suburban house, Pettena poured water into mold works he created around the buildings’ perimeter walls. Curing during the winter night into a coat of ice, the Houses resonated with their conceptual predecessor, Kaprow’s Fluids of 1967, as well as with a newer contemporary architectural sensibly concerned with the effects of variedly compounded, highly eidetic architectural surfaces.

Curated by Emanuele Piccardo and Amit Wolf, the exhibition showcases contractual, electroacoustic, and video aspects of Pettena’s work, alongside Kaprow’s Happenings and a forgotten collection of drawings that Smithson created in preparation for Asphalt Rundown (1969) in Rome. These are supplemented by the works of Italian groups UFO and 9999, as well as an environment-dialog between Pettena and the Los Angeles based collective Pentagon, which recreate anew this important architecture-art complex.   

Beyond Environment features the ACTAR catalog with texts by Emanuele Piccardo, Amit Wolf, Robert Smithson, and Gianni Pettena. Available for purchase at LACE.

Throughout the run of the exhibition, Hennessy + Ingalls presents a curated selection of 50+ art and architecture books at the LACE storefront gallery.


  • September 3, 2014 Beyond Environment: A Preface, a conversation at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles with Gianni Pettena, Aaron Moulton, Gian ...
read more >