• Paolo Soleri: Mesa City to Arcosanti
    Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
    Jan 26, 2013 to Apr 28, 2013
    Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Paolo Soleri: Mesa City to Arcosanti, installation view, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 2013, Scottsdale, AZ. Photo: Bill Timmerman.

Paolo Soleri: Mesa City to Arcosanti, is organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA). This exhibition of drawings, photographs, and video will survey four major projects: Mesa City (1955), Macro-Cosanti (1963), Two Suns Arcology (1976), and Arcosanti (1969-ongoing), a community located in the high desert of Mayer, Arizona. Soleri's work focuses on lean alternatives to urban sprawl through innovative design and attention to environmental accountability. Approximately thirty original works will be on display, including scrolls measuring over twenty feet. Many of the artworks will be shown for the first time since their restoration in 2005. A subsequent exhibition will culminate in an analysis of Soleri's seminal design for high-density, sustainable living, the Lean Linear City.

After moving to the United States in 1946 for a brief fellowship at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, Paolo Soleri (1919-2013) became an internationally renowned architect, urban designer, artist, and philosopher, who explored countless possibilities for the urban built environment. For more than sixty years, Soleri sketched unique designs for high-density, integrated, sustainable communities. His idea of "Arcology" (architecture + ecology) stretched beyond building design to encompass urgent social concerns such as renewable energy sources, urban sprawl, and the isolating effects of technology. One outstanding endeavor of Arcology is Arcosanti, a community located in the high desert of Mayer, Arizona. This urban laboratory focuses on pursuing lean alternatives to sprawl through innovative design with environmental accountability. As ecological issues have made their way into public discourse, Soleri's position as a pioneer in this area has become increasingly self-evident.

Claire C. Carter, assistant curator at SMoCA, brings extensive experience in archival research to her curatorial practice. She has produced more than fifteen exhibitions, many cross-disciplinary. She has produced comprehensive research at the Hulton/Getty Archives, London; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona; Land/Water and the Visual Arts research group, Plymouth University, England; Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Bloomington, Indiana; and Cosanti, Paradise Valley, Arizona, and Arcosanti, Mayer, Arizona. At the Crossroads of American Photography: Callahan, Siskind, Sommer, published by Radius Books is Carter's most significant archive-based research publication. She received her BA in political theory and art history from Indiana University and her MA in history of art and curatorial studies from the University of Glasgow.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) was founded in 1999. SMoCA champions creativity, innovation, and the vitality of the visual arts. We seek to build and to educate audiences for modern and contemporary art, as well as to provide opportunities for the artistic community—locally, nationally, and internationally. SMoCA provides a memorable experience of art, architecture and design by exploring new curatorial approaches and by highlighting cultural context. We interpret, exhibit, collect, and preserve works in these media.