Visions of Another America
Keith Krumwiede’s scenic wallpaper is based on the The Monuments of Paris motif created by Joseph Dufour, with engraver Xavier Mader, for manufacture in 1814. The paper depicts a microcosm of Paris, including several prominent monuments of the period sutured together in a panoramic configuration. This wallpaper reflects the 19th century romantic impulse to capture picturesque views of landscapes and geographies and import them into the interior realm. They were popularized in Europe and imported to the United States. In his reinterpretation, Krumwiede has replaced the Louvre, Hotel de Ville, Porte Saint-Denis, and other familiar sites with elevations of his fictional developer homes that he first showed in his satirical project Atlas of Another America. This project introduced the idea of a fictitious but uncannily familiar suburb, Freedomland, built from Jeffersonian gridded subdivisions and inhabited by oversized caricature dwellings, each one viewed against backdrops by historical American painters. When commissioned with a wallpaper project for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Krumweide departed from the Monuments of Paris at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A reproduction of the paper was installed in the William C. Williams period room in the American Wing, exhumed from original fragments of Dufour’s paper in 1977. Krumweide’s alteration to this original motif reproduces and transforms what was already designed according to a logic of mass-production.
Keith Krumwiede is a writer, designer, and teacher. He studied at the University of California, Berkeley and the Southern California Institute of Architecture and has taught at Rice University, Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (where he served as the director of graduate architecture programs from 2012-2017) and at the University of California at Berkeley, where he is currently a visiting associate professor. Krumwiede’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at WUHO Gallery, Pinkcomma Gallery, Princeton University’s School of Architecture, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Cooper Union’s School of Architecture and was featured in “The World in Our Eyes” exhibition at the 2016 Lisbon Architecture Triennale. His projects and essays have appeared in Domus, 306090, Perspecta, Praxis, Log,The Avery Review, The Architect’s Newspaper, and Drawing Futures. His book, Atlas of Another America: An Architectural Fiction was published by Park Books in 2016. Krumwiede is the winner of the 2017-2018 Arnold W. Brunner / Katherine Edwards Gordon Rome Prize in Architecture. In Rome he will work on essays and projects for a new book, The New World: Architecture After the End of Work.