The Oskar Hansen: Open Form exhibition will showcase various aspects of the Open Form theory, the basis of the architectural, artistic and pedagogical practice of the Polish architect Oskar Hansen. The exhibition, which has already been presented in Spain, Portugal, USA and Poland, will be on show at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius.
Presented at the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) held in Otterlo in 1959, the Open Form theory proposed opening up architecture to its users, and allowing them to co-create it. Oskar Hansen fought against what he defined as ‘Closed Form’, fully designed structures leaving no space for the creativity of users, constituting more a monument to their authors than comfortable living spaces. Instead, he suggested a radical change in the perception of the role of the architect, which in his opinion should consist of creating a passe-partout, a background for everyday life.
According to Hansen, the mission of architecture should be to showcase people and the richness of their daily activity in space. Architecture should highlight subjectivity, and create a frame-work for individual expression; it should become an instrument that can be used and transformed by its users, and which can adapt easily to their changing needs.
The exhibition presents various areas and scales of artistic and architectural activity where Open Form has been applied: from exhibition design, temporary pavilions, monuments and housing estates designed together with his wife, the architect Zofia Hansen, to the Linear Continuous System, a project to establish decentralised cities running throughout Poland and Europe.
The event is organised by the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius is based on an exhibition prepared by Soledad Gutiérrez, Aleksandra Kędziorek and Łukasz Ronduda. It has already been presented at MACBA, Barcelona (2014), the Serralves Museum, Porto (2015), Yale School of Architecture, New Haven (2016) and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2017). The Oskar Hansen: Open Form exhibition is curated by Aleksandra Kędziorek.
National Gallery of Art
open form theory
20th century architecture
The project is organised in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute operating under the Culture.pl brand within the international cultural programme POLSKA 100 accompanying Poland’s centenary of regaining independence. Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the Multi-annual Programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2021.