Photographs by Cemal Emden – Drawings and Paintings

USA. Chicago. American architect Louis KAHN in his office. 1956 .

“Nobody gave off so much light. It was a physical light that came from the activity of his imagination and the aliveness of his intellect through all his pores.”

Vincent Scully

USA. Chicago. American architect Louis KAHN in his office. 1956 .Though his name is mentioned among other prominent actors of the twentieth-century world architecture, Louis I. Kahn was an architect, thinker, artist, an “architectural guru” whose production and discourse are not easy to categorize. His architectural career in America from early 1950s until 1970s that “bloomed relatively late and ended at an early age” has left behind a generous and influential legacy. In his architectural works, unique expressions and in the paintings, he drew, Kahn relentlessly pursued beginnings, eternal truths, measurable and unmeasurable qualities, namely the light and silence in his own words. As much as his architectural works, his charcoal, pastel and watercolor paintings and sketches too have created a remarkable unity. He taught many students in the legendary Master’s Studio of the University of Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts. Among these students, there are many names from Turkey who later became the members of Middle East Technical University (METU) Faculty of Architecture.


The architect and photographer Cemal Emden has visited key buildings and sites from Pennsylvania where Kahn spent his whole life, worked, taught and practiced, to Dhaka and Ahmedabad, and took photographs to re/frame and see Kahn’s works with fresh eyes. This exhibition takes to focus the photographs framing Kahn’s buildings with regard to the themes of “tectonics through light”, “constructing the place” and “assembling the programme”. Short films covering the subjective experience and reflections on Kahn by METU-affiliated architect-educators; his charcoal and colored sketches and paintings; a selection of books written by Kahn or on his work come together to frame his multifaceted personality for this very first Kahn exhibition in Turkey.

Our “Re/Framing Louis Kahn: Photographs by Cemal Emden – Drawings and Paintings” exhibition can bee seen until March 4!

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