Architect, collagist, and budding knitwear designer Richard Meier will be at the Taschen store in New York City on Tuesday evening (6-8 p.m.) to sign copies of the shimmering 568-page Meier monograph published earlier this month by Taschen. Then he’ll cap his Sharpie, but not for long. On Friday afternoon, Meier is scheduled to sign up a storm at Art Basel in Switzerland. Richard Meier & Partners, Complete Works 1963-2008 was a collaborative effort among Meier, author Philip Jodidio, and graphic designer Massimo Vignelli. Edited by Jodido (former editor of Connaissance des Arts), the book includes a preface by Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza. In the below excerpt, Jodido takes on Meier’s favored color palette (or absence of color palette, as the case may be):
Why is white, the absence of color, Richard Meier’s choice? His own words answer this question best, explain the link between his method and his fundamental concerns, and betray a poetic nature: “White is the ephemeral emblem of perpetual movement. White is always present but never the same, bright and rolling in the day, silver and effervescent under the full moon of New Year’s Eve. Between the sea of consciousness and earth’s vast materiality lies this ever-changing line of white. White is the light, the medium of understanding and transformative power.”
Perhaps the most significant word in this description is not “white” but “light.” Light floods through the best of Richard Meier’s buildings, bringing constant change to his architecture. Clouds moving across the sky, the cycle of the seasons, the arc of the sun, and the moon in the heavens, quintessential expressions of nature, transfigure his grids and white surfaces. Where there is no man-made color, the rising sun and blue sky infuse Meier’s forms with the authentic, ephemeral palette of the world. At night, artificial light makes his architecture glow from within, like a lantern in the blackness.