‘A Different Perspective’

Canary Wharf, 152x122cm, oil on canvas, 2002.jpg

‘A Different Perspective’

Carl Laubin’s ‘A Different Perspective’ opened with much anticipation this month at Belgravia Gallery. The series included a variety of landscape paintings from the British/American artist, ranging from the dynamic translations of Bath to the mechanical conjuring of inside the Stotfold Mill. 

One thing that is for certain is that you just can’t help but be intrigued by Laubin’s towering piece ‘Canary Wharf’ that sits on the far side of the gallery. It’s geometrically harsh tower blocks shows us a snapshot of London’s inner city in the midst of development and it can’t be denied that Laubin’s previous life as an architect shines throughout the piece. 

The painting’s strong hints of Modernism, found within the triangular buildings, act as a subconscious nod towards Charles Jencks’ interpretation of the death of Modernist Architecture: the demolition of Pruitt-Igoe in 1972. The former urban housing estate, designed by Minoru Yamasaki – who also designed the twin towers- had once dreamed to solve housing the poor through modern uniform design. But he failed astronomically to make Pruitt-Igoe live up to its expectation due to the rise of violence and fall of maintenance within the estate  .

Over twenty years later, Yamasaki’s vision for Pruitt-Igoe is shared with Auburn University’s educational program Rural Studio. Yet, they successfully handle it with a ‘different perspective’. Instead, Rural Studio aims to provide their students with the knowledge to build well-constructed, inspirational and safe homes for the poor communities in Alabama’s Black Belt.

One of their notable projects include the $20k house where students design a model home that can be built on a large scale for $20k – “the highest realistic mortgage for someone who receives median Social Security cheques” – enabling everybody to benefit from good design.  


The exhibition continues until the 3rd July. 

To find out more about Rural Studio and their on-going mission, check out ruralstudio.org