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Philip Johnson

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  • Kyle Tata

    Kyle Tata
    Last year’s much-maligned Sondheim finalist show was dominated by photographs that felt desperate to appear relevant. While Kyle Tata works in the same medium, his photographs seem to take the opposite, high-modernist approach of eschewing any sense of relevancy and embracing formalism to the extreme. In fact, Tata says that his work is an investigation of the ways that modernism “haunts the American landscape”—especially in the works of Mies Van Der Rohe and Philip Johnson. Some of the photographs, such as 'Parking Garage'—with its regular concrete grid—make a direct architectural allusion; others, such as 'A Broken Shot Glass for Mies,' seem more akin to Man Ray than Mies Van Der Rohe in everything but the title. 'Chicago, 1942' is a beautifully foggy black and white picture of a man (or two men, I'm not sure) that both evokes the height of modernism and subverts it with its lack of clarity, making something nostalgic of the modern.