Field Conditions, on view from September 1, 2012, through January 6, 2013 at the SFMOMA, bends and blurs the boundaries between conceptual art and theoretical architecture, using the notion of the “field” to frame an investigation into the construction, representation, and experience of space. The exhibition aggregates nearly 30 works in various media by both contemporary artists and practicing architects, including Tauba Auerbach, Daniel Libeskind, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Sol LeWitt, and Lebbeus Woods, among others.
The exhibition takes its title from a landmark essay by architect Stan Allen. First published in 1996, Allen’s “Field Conditions” marked a move away from traditional concepts of architectural form and toward a consideration of systems and networks. The show draws upon Allen’s ideas in focusing on works that redefine the relationships between figure and ground, object and process, finite and infinite, place and nonplace. Here, the term “field” refers to an array of objects or marks that accumulate to the point of becoming a kind of system.