RIBA First Floor Gallery, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
26 February – 16 May 2020, Free entry
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) presents Forms of Industry, an exhibition of contemporary photographs by Alastair Philip Wiper (b.1980) and archival images by Eric de Maré (1910-2002) from the RIBA Collections. Separated by more than 50 years, the two photographers share a common appreciation of industrial buildings and landscapes. Their differing approaches create a commentary on changing attitudes towards industrialisation and sustainability.
Eric de Maré’s work focused mainly on industrial architecture. This display features his work from the 1950s and 1960s, a period where he defined his photographic style. A representative of the positive spirit of the post-war era, Maré was a prolific writer and an accomplished photographer. He used his camera to capture architecture that did not respond to specific historic styles, but to forms directly derived from building materials and their function.
Complementing de Maré’s black and white work is a selection of bold, colourful images by Alastair Philip Wiper. Wiper’s photographs present an analysis of industrial forms and processes, from factories to scientific laboratories. Finding sites of industrial production, the modern dream of the 1950s looks very different through Wiper’s lens. His images evidence the ever-increasing speed of contemporary industry, where buildings and equipment are rendered obsolete and replaced. Featured in this display are images of the Boeing Factory in the USA, to this day the largest building in the world by volume.
By presenting these two bodies of work together Forms of Industry highlights the changing nature of industrial production, and our intricate and changing relationship with the environment.
Notes to editors:
1. For further information contact Emily Stallard in the RIBA press office: Emily.Stallard@riba.org / 020 7307 3813
2. Press images can be downloaded here.
3. Forms of Industry is co-curated by Justine Sambrook, Curator of Photographs at RIBA and Rodrigo Orrantia Gomez, Gallery Manager at RIBA, with input from Alastair Philip Wiper into the selection and juxtaposition of works.
4. The RIBA First Floor Gallery is open from 10am – 5pm Monday to Saturday and until 8pm every Tuesday. It is closed on Sundays. Free entrance. RIBA is at 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD. Nearest tubes are Oxford Circus, Regent’s Park and Great Portland Street.
5. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates
6. RIBA Collections Since its foundation in 1834, the RIBA has amassed one of the world’s largest and richest architectural collections, which now comprises over four million drawings, books, models and photographs. RIBA Collections comprises around 1.6 million images from the earliest days of photography to the present day. The archive contains some of the best of British and international architectural photography. You can view more images from the Collection online at www.ribapix.com.
7. Alastair Philip Wiper is a photographer focussing on industry, science and architecture. The long exposure time of his photographs brings a sculptural quality to his work, placing it between the traditions of photojournalism, architectural and art photography. Over the last ten years, he has become a sought-after photographer, commissioned by architectural and design magazines such as Blueprint, Wallpaper, Icon, Vice, Domus, Wired, the Telegraph and The Guardian. Wiper’s new book, Unintended Beauty, will have a UK release coinciding with the RIBA exhibition on 26 February 2020. An Unintended Beauty exhibition will take place at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (MADD), Bordeaux, France, 2 April - 5 July 2020. https://alastairphilipwiper.com/
8. Eric de Maré (1910-2002) was one of Britain’s most influential architectural photographers. From 1949 he began to document Britain’s neglected industrial heritage via a series of commissions for the Architectural Review. The resulting collection of striking images of vernacular structures includes warehouses, factories, shipyards and canals and was labelled the ‘Functional Tradition’. The photographs form one of the RIBA Robert Elwall Photographs Collection’s most important acquisitions, in the form of negatives purchased from de Maré himself and numerous prints forming part of the Architectural Press Archive.
9. Travel bursary kindly supported by the Embassy of Denmark in the UK.