Inversions: Contemporary Art Inspired by the Architecture of Louis Kahn

Group Exhibition Curated by Melinda Wang

October 19 – November 10, 2019

Level #2, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 24 in

Level #2  2018
Oil on Canvas  30 x 24 in

The visual artists are: Dara Alter, Richard Bottwin, Graciela Cassel, Tim Gowan, John Greig Jr., Carrie Johnson, Andres Koort, Stephanie Land, Arne Maasik, Jamie Martinez, Marisol Martinez, Gelah Penn, Urmo Raus, Jonathan Rider, Tariku Shiferaw, Sara Silks, Helen & Sandra Sirp, Christopher Stout, Nicholas Szymanski, Margaret Inga Urias, Michael Wolf and Audra Wolowiec. The exhibition also includes a site-specific sound piece by Micah Frank to listen to while walking between the gallery and Four Freedoms Park. The exhibition is organized by MW Projects, with support from the Consulate General of Estonia in New York and the Estonian Ministry of Culture.

Architectural historian William J.R. Curtis wrote, “Kahn’s architecture is full of inversions: masses which suddenly seem weightless, materials which dissolve into immateriality; structures which reverse load and support; rays of light which reveal the realm of shadows; solids which turn out to be voids.” Known for combining Modernism with the weight and dignity of ancient monuments, Kahn used simple shapes and simple materials to design preternaturally beautiful structures that sought to create transcendent experiences. He believed that structure, space and light must always be in harmony, and that it is through the material that we can understand the immaterial and universal.

Taking these concepts as cues, the artists in the exhibition created works that explore the different “inversions” for which Kahn is known. Each work in the exhibition considers the dualities of material and immaterial; logic and intuition; heavy and light; light and shadow; or presence and voids, and how these dualities balance and co-exist.

Inspired by Kahn’s multi-disciplinary approach, the exhibition will include an afternoon of dance and poetry, a film screening and a music listening event. Details for these events will be posted at and on social media channels.

About Louis Kahn

Born in Estonia in 1901, Louis Kahn was one of the most important and influential architects of the second half of the 20th century. His work and writings represent a profound search for the very meaning of architecture. His designs include Four Freedoms Park (New York, NY), the Salk Institute (La Jolla, CA), National Assembly Building (Dhaka, Bangladesh) and Phillips Exeter Academy Library (Exeter, NH).

About MW Projects

MW Projects is a cultural production and art advisory firm dedicated to bringing contemporary art to historic sites, non-traditional venues and liminal spaces.  We work with emerging and established artists to transform environments and encourage dialogue about contemporary art and culture.  For more information, please visit

Getting to Roosevelt Island

By Subway: Take the F train to the Roosevelt Island stop (one stop from Manhattan). Walk north 0.3 miles on W Road.

By Tram: Catch the Tram at 59th Street and 2nd Avenue.

By Ferry: The Astoria route of NYC Ferry will connect you to a landing at the east side of Roosevelt Island.

By Bike: Access Roosevelt Island by bike via the Roosevelt Island Bridge from 36th Street in Queens.

By Bus: The Q102 bus connects Roosevelt Island to Long Island City and Astoria in Queens.

By Car: Access Roosevelt Island by car via the Roosevelt Island Bridge from 36th Street in Queens.


Opening Reception: Saturday, October 19, 6-8pm
Wednesdays and Fridays, 6pm-9pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-5pm
527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, NY