Glass House Presents

Johnston Marklee

Glass House Presents is an ongoing series of public programs — including conversations, performances, and gatherings — that sustain the site’s historic role as a meeting place for artists, architects, and other creative minds. At each program, visitors have the opportunity to explore the Glass House campus, view current exhibitions, and enjoy a festive reception.

Los Angeles-based architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee (principals, Johnston Marklee) will be joined by Josef Helfenstein (director, The Menil) and Martino Stireli (chief curator of architecture and design, The Museum of Modern Art) for a conversation about the Menil Drawing Institute, the Philip Johnson-designed Menil House (1951), and the display of art in domestic spaces.

Johnston Marklee, led by principals Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, is recognized internationally for its engagement with contemporary art practices while being deeply rooted in the history and foundations of architecture. The firm draws upon an extensive network of collaborators in related fields, including contemporary artists, graphic designers, writers, and photographers to broaden the breadth of design research. Current projects include the Menil Drawing Institute as well as a new Energy House for the Menil Collection, Houston, Texas; the Grand Traiano Art Complex in Grottaferrata, Italy, and the Poggio Golo winery an Artist-in-Residence studios in Montepulciano, Italy, for DEPART Foundation; the recently completed gallery building for the West Bund Biennial in Shanghai; and META, a community arts center in Penco, Chile, for the Chilean government. Johnston Marklee has also formed long term partnerships with the Hammer Museum to collaborate on exhibition design and planning, including shows for James Welling, Robert Heinecken, and a group exhibition on Frottage. The firm has garnered many notable awards including Progressive Architecture Design Awards, AIA Los Angeles & AIA California Council Honor Awards, American Architecture Award, and an AR Award for Emerging Architecture. In October 2013, Johnston Marklee received the Presidential Award for Emerging Practice by the American Institute of Architects’ Los Angeles Chapter. A forthcoming book entitled House is a House is a House is a House is a House, is a reflection on the work since the firm’s founding in 1998.

Josef Helfenstein has served as the director of the Menil Collection since 2004, managing all aspects of the institution’s operations and development, and initiating the strategic plan and master site plan that have led to the current project to enlarge and enhance the 30-acre campus. Exhibitions that Helfenstein has curated at the Menil include Bill Traylor, William Edmondson, and the Modernist Impulse; Klee and America; Robert Rauschenberg – Cardboards and Related Pieces; Walter De Maria: Trilogies; Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926‐1938 (with Anne Umland and Stephanie D’Alessandro); and Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence. Josef Helfenstein has lectured and published widely on modern and contemporary art. He is also co-editor of Art and Activism: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil (2010). After a successful twelve-year tenure at the Menil Collection, Helfenstein will assume the role of Director of the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland in September of 2016.

Martino Stierli is The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and holds a Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship at the Institute of Art History at the University of Zurich. He is the author of Las Vegas in the Rearview Mirror: The City in Theory, Photography, and Film (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2013) and co-curator of the international traveling exhibition Las Vegas Studio: Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown and co-editor of the exhibition catalog of the same title (Zurich: Scheidegger & Spiess, 2008; 2nd edition 2015). Stierli’s research focuses on the intersection of architecture and media, the representation of modern space, and on the genealogy of postmodernism.