玛丽娜·华纳:玛丽安·玛霍尼·格里芬

玛丽安·玛霍尼·格里芬Marion Mahony Griffin (1871—1961)不仅是世界上最早的女性注册建筑师之一,而且还是建筑大师弗兰克·劳埃德·赖特的首位雇员。作为赖特的首位雇员,玛丽安对赖特草原式住宅风格的发展产生过相当大的影响,同时,她的水彩渲染也很快成了赖特设计作品的标志。后期,玛丽安和同样为赖特工作过的建筑师沃尔特·贝里·格里芬结婚并成立工作室,设计了澳大利亚新首都堪培拉。

 

1986年,我在洛杉矶生活了一年,当时我是盖蒂研究所的学者,朋友们带我去看了弗兰克·劳埃德·赖特的一些房子。其中有几个被神秘地藏起来,在那个时候,其中一个或两个已经破败和过度生长;他们看起来像玛雅人的废墟消失在前进的丛林中。为了更深入地了解这些奇怪而神奇的建筑的起源,我偶然发现了玛丽安·玛霍尼·格里芬:

1895年,她是赖特的第一个雇员,也是他的工作室里的主要“描绘者”——她华丽的绘画创造了它的标志性风格。她的笔和画笔的华丽和稳重传达了草原建筑的精髓,色彩和纹理的结合——彩色玻璃、瓷砖、石头、砖——以及对自然形式和植物活力的坚持。马宏尼有时会在丝绸或缎子的长而垂直的横幅上描绘这些壮观的效果,并在这里用一根开花的树枝,在微风中飘扬的树叶,像在一本日本卷轴上。她的远见卓识的观点,往往是急剧倾斜,她纯粹的技巧和雄辩的绘画是扎哈哈迪德的宏伟风格的先兆;像哈迪德,玛霍尼(她后来签署了会标MMG)是一个开拓性的远见卓识建筑师在她自己的权利。

她于1894年毕业于麻省理工学院(该校建筑专业的第二名女学生),是美国第一位获得执业许可的女性。赖特离开美国后——个人问题——马宏与继任者赫尔曼·冯·霍尔斯特(Hermann von Holst)合作,赫尔曼·冯·霍尔斯特赋予她“完全控制设计”的权利;她的兴趣包括植物和景观美化、家具和配件、壁纸和纺织品,甚至床单。她是一个真正的原创性,一个强有力的,机智的和充满活力的女人,引人注目的外表,非常瘦和瘦削,有着丰富多彩的服装风格,她产生了不屈不挠和快乐的想法。

1911年,她和年轻的建筑师沃尔特·伯里·格里芬私奔,后来回忆道:“这决不是一见钟情,但当它被轻敲的时候是疯狂的。”他们的联盟为他们俩点燃了一个令人眼花缭乱的创作灵感的时代:1912年,他们赢得了澳大利亚首都堪培拉的设计竞赛。他们搬到那里发展他们雄心勃勃的计划,但继续在美国建造私人住宅、基础设施和机构(废物处理中心、学校、图书馆)。他们被关于美国民主的思想和平等与友爱的最佳理想所激发,他们希望建筑在促进其发展中发挥核心作用。

格里芬有着强烈的新教背景,混合着先验的神秘主义和惠特曼式的梦想;鲁道夫·施泰纳的人智学是他们的另一个催化剂。致力于栖息地作为幸福的基础。1921年,他们命名并设计了卡斯特拉克(当时在城市外,但现在是悉尼的一个海港郊区),并创造了一个乌托邦社区,连同一座用岩石雕刻而成的希腊剧院;他们还开创了欣赏本土物种的先河。当城市的其余部分都投入到郊区的女贞和月桂树上时,他们欢迎灌木,让灌木和桉树茂盛起来,用桥梁和人行道跨越天然的沟壑,并留下露头的岩石在露台和铺面下膨胀。

第一次世界大战阻止了他们成功蓝图的实现,在随后的几十年里,只有一部分被遵循。现在,他们的愿景正在引起新的兴趣。这座城市独特的同心平面从曼多拉的一个巨大的湖中向外辐射,就像曼陀罗的螺纹一样,这很大程度上归功于斯坦纳的原则和他对直线性的拒绝。对于墨尔本的国会剧院(1924年开业),玛霍尼以数百颗水晶点缀着木卡纳式的内部,由彩色灯泡照亮,射入彩虹闪烁物;斯坦纳认为这些水晶是大自然健康能量的主要载体。但是玛霍尼的建筑远没有施泰纳的沉重和说教,她的创作具有音乐的品质,一种形式和纹理的无止境、丰富的对位。深奥的知识是她深厚的独创性的另一个元素,这些系统在美学上的突破也比人们所能接受的更富有成效。

1935年,格里芬离开澳大利亚前往印度;一年后,玛霍尼跟随他。1937年,格里芬突然死于胆囊破裂,当时他们正在研究各种现代主义的乌托邦计划。1938年,玛霍尼搬回芝加哥,在那里她度过了生命的最后几十年,大部分时间都在写一本关于他们生活和工作的未出版的书,书名为《美国的魔法》。(现在在线上可以看到)1961年,她死于贫困,主要是被遗忘了。

在她有生之年,她生命中那些高大的人物使玛霍尼的最高创意和精力黯然失色,直到最近几年,她的成就的规模和范围才逐渐得到认可。出于这个原因,自1991年以来,把她纳入这一期主要人物和作品的通栏似乎是正确的;像许多女性艺术家一样,她现在正被从遗忘中恢复过来,在那之前,她几乎迷路了无法观看。澳大利亚国家图书馆和芝加哥艺术学院保存了最大的玛霍尼工作档案。

主要展览“超越建筑:马里恩·马霍尼和沃尔特·伯雷·格里芬”于1998-99年在悉尼发电站博物馆举办,但没有进行巡展。这无疑是为了更深入地探索她的愿景——她的生活、她的艺术、她的思想。

主要图片:Marion Mahony Griffin,1912年Marion Mahony Griffin为澳大利亚首都堪培拉的城市规划。致谢:澳大利亚国家档案馆

作者Marina Warner

Marina Warner是英国伦敦的作家。她最近的一本书是《魅力的形式:艺术和艺术家的作品》(2018年)。她目前正在写一本不可靠的回忆录,一本关于生活误导的清单。第200期第一次发表于第200期2019年1月至2月功能/马里恩·马霍尼·格里芬·弗兰克·劳埃德·赖特建筑玛丽娜·华纳·堪培拉现代主义作品《热情200》

FRIZE特稿 ARThing编译

 

In 1986, when I was living in Los Angeles for a year as a scholar at the Getty Institute, friends took me to see some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses. Several of them were mysteriously tucked away and, at that time, one or two of them were dilapidated and overgrown; they looked like Mayan ruins disappearing under the advancing jungle. Wanting to discover more about the genesis of these strange and marvellous buildings, I came across Marion Mahony Griffin: in 1895, she was Wright’s first employee and the principal ‘delineator’ in his studio – her sumptuous drawings created its signature style. The flourish and poise of her pen and her brush convey the very essence of prairie architecture, with its combination of colours and texture – stained glass, tiling, stone, brick – and its insistence on natural forms and the vitality of vegetation. Mahony would sometimes paint these magnificent renderings on long, vertical banners of silk or satin, and cadence the scene with a flowering branch here, leaves lifting in a breeze there, as on a Japanese scroll. Her visionary perspectives, often steeply raked, and her sheer skill and eloquence at drawing are harbingers of Zaha Hadid’s grandiloquent style; like Hadid, Mahony (she later signed with the monogram MMG) was a pioneering visionary architect in her own right. She’d graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1894 (its second female student in architecture) and was the first woman in the US to be licensed to practise. When Wright left the US – personal troubles – Mahony collaborated with his successor, Hermann von Holst, who gave her ‘complete control over design’; her interests included plants and landscaping, furniture and fittings, wallpaper and textiles and even bed linen. She was a true original, a forceful, witty and dynamic woman, striking-looking, very thin and bony, with a colourful style of dress, and she generated ideas indefatigably and joyously.

In 1911, she eloped with the younger architect Walter Burley Griffin, later recalling: ‘It was by no means love at first sight, but it was madness when it struck.’ Their union set alight a time of dazzling creative inspiration for them both: in 1912, they won the competition to design Australia’s capital, Canberra. They moved there to develop their ambitious scheme but continued to build in the US – private houses, infrastructure and institutions (a waste disposal centre, schools, libraries). They were fired up by ideas about US democracy and its best ideals of equality and fellowship and they wanted architecture to play a central role in fostering its growth.

The Griffins had strong Protestant backgrounds, mixed in with Transcendental mysticism and Whitmanesque dreams; Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy was another catalyst to their commitment to habitat as the foundation of wellbeing. In 1921, they named and designed Castlecrag (then outside the city but now a harbour suburb of Sydney), and created a utopian community, complete with a Greek theatre carved out of the rock; they also pioneered appreciation of native species. While the rest of the city was devoted to suburban privet and laurel, they welcomed the bush, let bottle brush and eucalyptus flourish, spanned the natural gullies with bridges and walkways, and left the rocky outcrops bulging under the terraces and decking.

marion_mahony_griffin_sketch_of_unity_temple_1905._courtesy_national_archives_of_australia

Marina Warner on Marion Mahony Griffin - 玛丽娜·华纳在马里恩·马霍尼·格里芬

Marion Mahony Griffin, Sketch of Unity Temple, 1905. Courtesy: National Archives of Australia

In Canberra, the realization of their winning blueprint was halted by World War I and, in subsequent decades, was only partly followed. Now, elements of their vision are arousing new interest. The city’s unique concentric plan radiates from a huge lake in mandorla-like whorls and owes a great deal to Steiner’s principles and his rejection of rectilinearity. For the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne (which opened in 1924), Mahony studded the muqarnas-like interior with hundreds of crystals, lit by coloured bulbs and shooting rainbow scintillae; such crystals figure in Steiner’s thought as prime vehicles of nature’s healthy energies. But Mahony’s architecture is far less ponderous and didactic than Steiner’s and her creations have a musical quality, an endless, exuberant counterpoint of forms and textures. Esoteric knowledge was another element in her profound originality and such systems have also been more productive of aesthetic breakthroughs than it is perhaps comfortable to accept.

In 1935, Griffin left Australia for India; Mahony followed him a year later. They were working on various modernist, utopian schemes when, in 1937, Griffin died suddenly of a ruptured gall bladder. In 1938, Mahony moved back to Chicago, where she spent the last decades of her life mostly writing a vast, unpublished book about their life and work, titled The Magic of America. (It is now available online.) She died in poverty, mainly forgotten, in 1961.

During her lifetime, the towering figures of the men in her life eclipsed Mahony’s supreme originality and energy and it is only in recent years that the scale and range of her achievements are slowly being recognized. For this reason, it seems right to include her in this issue of frieze devoted to key people and works since 1991; like many women artists, who are now being retrieved from oblivion, she was so nearly lost to view before that date.

The National Library of Australia and the Art Institute of Chicago conserve the largest archives of Mahony’s work. The major exhibition ‘Beyond Architecture: Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin’ was held at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum in 1998–99 but it did not travel. The moment has definitely come to explore her vision – her life, her art, her thought – in greater depth.

Main Image: Marion Mahony Griffin, Federal Capital Competition View from Summit of Mount Ainslie, 1912. Courtesy: National Archives of Australia

Marina Warner

Marina Warner is a writer based in London, UK. Her most recent book is Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art and Artists (2018). She is currently writing an unreliable memoir, Inventory of a Life Mislaid.

 


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