SMoCA unveils an unprecedented retrospective of seminal American artist and architect Paolo Soleri in this exhibit. Over his sixty-year career, Soleri explored thousands of possibilities for the urban built environment in drawings, architectural models, sketchbooks, sculptures, prints and photographs. His pioneering idea “arcology,” or the fusion of architecture and ecology, proved prescient in its ties to current issues about sustainable cities, suburban sprawl, climate change, renewable energy and water shortages.
The City Is Nature spans the breadth of Soleri’s ideas and practice, bringing together elements from his built and unbuilt residences, bridges, dams, cities and transportation systems. In addition to original drawings, models and sketchbooks, the exhibition surveys the artist’s earliest ceramic and bronze artisan crafts, as well as fabric designs and silkscreens. This ground-breaking exhibition represents the largest collection of original works by Soleri presented in North America since 1971. Large scroll drawings—some over 30 feet long—will be presented for the first time since their conservation in 2005.
Image: Stuart A. Weiner, [Soleri sketching at his desk, Cosanti], ca. 1960. Gelatin-silver print, 10 x 8 inches. Collection of the Cosanti Foundation. © The Weiner Estate