Joseph G. Brin, Architect & Writer

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

Favela Painters Paint Philadelphia

In Artist Profile on July 12, 2012 at 5:15 am

The artists Haas&Hahn— Jeroen Koolhass (yes, there is a Rem connection) and Dre Urhahn—are heirs to the De Stijl movement, applying early 20th century Dutch principles to 21st century cities on a colossal scale. Playing with form and mass, unburdened by the restrictive tenets of De Stijl, they burst into Brazilian shanty towns, called favelas, with a riotous display of color and geometry.

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“Haas&Hahn in Brazil”
Photo: Haas&Hahn for


Paris on the Parkway

In Architecture, Exhibit Design on July 12, 2012 at 5:03 am

There’s something about quality that will not be denied. As the new Barnes Art Museum recently opened to great fanfare on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, you couldn’t help noticing the petite Rodin Museum next door, waking up, rubbing the sand from its eyes.

A close cousin of the Musee Rodin in Paris, this crown jewel of the Parkway had seen better days. The fountain and pool were never working, plantings and grounds were shabby, Rodin’s monumental bronze entry piece,“The Gates of Hell” with its writhing figures, was blackened and dull. Still, unmistakably, there stood a beautifully proportioned, limestone treasure.     

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The Rodin Museum c. 1929-1930
Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art