Art History Lecture Series presents Kathryn O'Rourke
Making Space for Mexican Architecture
In several texts written around midcentury, Mexican architect Alberto Arai proposed a theory of national architecture based on new ways of perceiving and responding to the spaces and buildings of pre-conquest Mexico. Attempting to reconcile the formal and ideological differences between historicism and Mexican “functionalism,” Arai argued for an intensely psychological approach to ancient buildings in writings that echoed an unusual variety theoretical writings on art, architecture, and Mexican culture. This talk considers the relationship of Arai’s work to ways that space was understood, reshaped, and represented at a critical turning point in Mexican art and architecture.
Dr. Kathryn O’Rourke is Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at Trinity University. She received her BA in Architecture from Wellesley College and her MA and PhD in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on twentieth-century architecture in Mexico and her publications include essays on Mexican architectural rationalism and public health care reform, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s work in Latin America, and urban planning in 1920s Mexico City. She is currently completing a book project, Building History: Modern Architecture in Mexico City, about the influence of Mexican architectural history on modern architecture in the Mexican capital.