the philadelphia school, deterritorialized

junkyard plus ultra
contained intricacy

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John Chamberlain   Dolores James   1962
Painted and chromium-plated steel. 184.2 257.8 117.5 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 70.1925.


El Camino Real   Palo Alto   California
Rondo Partridge, photographer in Peter Blake, God's Own Junkyard: The planned deterioration of America's landscape, 1964.


Containment and intricacy have been characteristic of the city as well. Fortified walls for military protection and the greenbelt for civic protection are examples of this phenomenon. Contained intricacy might be one of the viable methods for dealing with urban chaos and the endlessness of roadtown; through the creative use of zoning and positive architectural features it is possible to concentrate the intricacies of road towns and junkyards, actual and figurative. And like the sculpture which consists of compressed automobiles by John Chamberlain and the photographs through telescopic lens in Blake's God's Own Junkyard, they achieve an ironically compelling kind of unity.
Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966), pp.75-6.





It is also somewhat ironic that images of a Chamberlain sculpture and a telescopic photograph from God's Own Junkyard are not featured within Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture for they would illustrate two important aspects of Venturi's design methodology. Chamberlian's sculpture of compressed automobile parts literally turns junkyard scraps into art, or, in Venturi's design sense, exalts the ordinary. And telephotoic roadside honky-tonk portends Venturi's mannerist containment of signs and symbols within his architecture.

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