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Max Gordon
At the book party at Paula Cooper Gallery for Architect for Art: Max Gordon (Marquand Books), from left, Paula cooper, Jennifer Bartlett, Nicholas Serota, David Gordon and Agnes Gund

MAX GORDON, “ARCHITECT FOR ART”

May 24, 2011

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Architect for Art: Max Gordon (Marquand Books, $40) is a new book highlighting the art-world legacy of Max Gordon (1931-1990), an architect much admired among art-world insiders for his mastery of the design of fine-art exhibition spaces. The 146-page publication, which features photos and sketches from seven of Gordon’s major projects, is authored by David Gordon, the architect’s brother and director of London’s Royal Academy of Arts, along with Tate director Nicholas Serota, Columbia University architecture professor Kenneth Frampton and architect Jonathan Marvel.

After creating his own practice in 1981, the London-born Gordon went on to design memorable galleries as well as private homes for art collectors, until his death from AIDS-related illness in 1990. Highlights of the book include the sky-lighted space of Annely Juda Fine Art in London and Gordon’s own apartment at 120 Mount Street, which he transformed from an ungainly attic into an expertly designed and curated home.

Gordon’s projects also included the Fisher Landau Center in Long Island City as well as London’s original Saatchi Gallery. Each project is introduced by statements from his clients, who include Charles Saatchi, Lewis and Susan Manilow, Jackie Brody and David Juda. The book also boasts a detailed chronology of his life and practice, and includes quotations from his friends and collaborators, from Richard Serra and Richard Gluckman to New York art dealer Lawrence Luhring.

The publication was feted in New York City earlier this month with a book release party hosted by Paula Cooper Gallery and Agnes Gund, the art patron and Museum of Modern Art trustee. Nicholas Serota was in town, and spoke, while artist Jennifer Bartlett read a chapter from the book.

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