Home Is Where the Art Is

Together, architects and artists design dwellings

You look at Petropoulos's collages and realize the sculptured canopies over the Shell station gas pumps are really kind of cool, and that it would be nice to have them in your yard. And commercial glass double doors set in a wall of windows seem like an interesting element to incorporate into a residence, too.

One of the most involved but least successful projects is the only one that uses life-size elements, Barbara Bloom's "Mood Ring Home," which features a bunch of IKEA furniture arranged in a corner of the gallery. You can sit at a table or on the couch and play a board game or an equally unengaging CD-ROM computer game that allows you to replicate and rearrange furniture icons. It comes off like a lot of different takes on a convoluted concept.

Renee Petropoulos based her models on the gas station mini-mart.
Kelly Klaasmeyer
Renee Petropoulos based her models on the gas station mini-mart.


Through March 14; 713-743-9530
Blaffer Gallery, 120 Fine Arts Building, University of Houston

There are several projects with too many versions and elements that don't really jibe. The exhibition needs editing. And while many of the ideas are compelling, the main problem with the show is visual. The artists' ideas have by and large been "architectified" -- presented in the conventions of traditional architecture and turned into clean, neat drawings and tidy models that are visually sterile. It seems like there could be another alternative, a hybridization rather than a translation. Some interesting ideas crop up in "TRESPASSING," but in the end, you want more real collaboration.

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