CUT: Revealing the Section

An exhibition at SF MOMA
Exhibit curator Henry Urbach, the head of SFMOMA’s Architecture and Design Department assembled architectural section drawings of a number of buildings including the Castro Theater and the SFMOMA building itself for a current exhibit at the museum. Art works dealing with the third dimension of buildings were included, as well.

The most thought provoking, for me, was a work by Peter Wegner entitled Buildings Made of Sky.


All these pictures are upside down.
What’s up with that?


Mr. Wegner is interested in the solid of Manhattan skyscrapers only as a creator of the void. When the image is turned upside down, the void becomes a skyscraper of sky.

Buildings made of sky. Get it? Not only is each sky building unique, the color of the void varies, posing the musical question, “what is sky blue?” The work is a color study, as well as a study in form.

Like many works of Peter Wegner, the idea is somewhat simple. The art part is in having the idea and in the execution.

Just to prove it ain”t easy, I took a few pictures on the way home from the museum. San Francisco has long, straight streets and tall buildings, but those darn hills tend to muck up the scene. Five worked out. I went to my files and found a few photos that marginally qualify, as well. Of my over 3000 images in iPhoto, I found only seven that I could crop to make the cut. Still and yet,

If I took a lesson in Photoshop, I could find a way to make the buildings darker, and if I paid attention to sun and sky conditions, I could get better skies. Then there’s the format and the proportion, and so on and so forth.

But it was a fun exercise, and now that I”ve been through it, I”ll always think of taking pictures that could work. Thanks Peter Wegner for my pretend art experience.


from top left:
1. Chinatown 2. Jackson Street 3. MIT 4. Paris
1. Leavenworth 2. London 3. California Street 4. Salt Lake City
1. San Sebastian 2. Toulouse 3. Toulouse 4. Jackson Street


2 thoughts on “CUT: Revealing the Section

  1. Your Jackson St. images is most like his — your MIT image of the new Geary Building creates an *absolutely* Geary “sky” building! Nice.


  2. I hadn’t heard of Peter Wegner. Neat idea. He’s playing with positive space and negative space. Often artists turn work upside down to examine critically while a work is in process; it makes the work more abstract and erases visual expectations. He’s made a “realistic” image abstract by turning it upside down.


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