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Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Genius Loci

August 11, 2022 - September 09, 2022
9:00 AM EDT - 5:00 PM EDT
Paul H. Cocker Gallery, 325 Church St.
Open To

Genius Loci”, refers to Oberlander’s skillful approach to design that results in timeless and extremely site-specific landscapes. In classical Roman literature, a genius loci was the protective spirit of a place. Oberlander, as a landscape architect, is the modern equivalent of this. Her designs advocate for less of an interruption and more of an amplification of what already exists in that spot. With her public work frequently located in urban environments, she seeks to soften the harshness of city life by offering spaces of respite in micro-natural environments, whether through the employment of scented plants, pools and falls of water, or the simple pleasure of a lone fruit tree. Because Oberlander’s designs have always been so site-specific, she has constantly evolved, and continued to take well-considered risks.

With the lens of genius loci, this exhibition explores Oberlander’s work to reveal connections that forge community and that foster a deeper alignment with ecology and the natural environment. Featuring her renowned work—such as the National Gallery of Art, Ottawa; and the Legislative Assembly Building and Capital Site of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife—as well as highlighting work that has embraced considerations of public concern such as places for children and projects with a social emphasis, this exhibition reveals how Oberlander has continued to advance the bar of landscape architecture. While some projects in the exhibition have been featured in previous exhibitions of her work, this exhibition seeks to find connection between a modernist design lineage and a desire for community connection and the enhanced experience of public space. Read more about Oberlander's work and legacy in her interview with Wallpaper Magazine, external link and The New York Times, external link.

This exhibition will be on display at 325 Church St. at Paul H. Cocker Gallery between August 11th - September 9th during the hours of 9AM - 5PM 7 days a week and open to the public.* No registration is required.

*Please use the intercom system to gain access via the South East doors.

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Genius Loci is organized as part of the Poole Centre of Design by the Art Gallery of Alberta and the West Vancouver Art Museum, and curated by Amery Calvelli and Dr. Hilary Letwin. With contributions from the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander fonds – Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal (CCA). Funded by the Government of Canada.