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See brutalist buildings in the moment of destruction

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A new exhibit at Pinkcomma gallery in Boston captures concrete architecture in the moment of its demise

A concrete building with a huge section of wall torn down.
The Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland.
Photo by Matthew Carbone courtesy of over,under

Brutalism is an oft-vilified style of architecture that nevertheless continues to capture the imagination, even as many of them—including Robin Hood Gardens in London, Paul Rudolph’s apartment complex in Buffalo, New York, and Sydney, Australia’s Sirius building—have met the wrecking ball or will be doing so imminently.

A new photography exhibition opening next week at Pinkcomma gallery in Boston captures these concrete monoliths in moments of dishabille and partial destruction, and the effect is both unsettling and thrilling.

Dubbed “Brutal Destruction” and curated by Chris Grimley of the architecture office Over,under, the exhibit features a series of photographs by Matthew Carbone, Harlan Erskine, Jason Hood, Rey Lopez, David Schalliol, David Torke, and Oliver Wainwright that show the vulnerability of these once-praised structures that now appear ghostly.

As for what “Brutal Destruction” hopes to impart, here’s what the gallery had to say:

If there is a lesson in seeing concrete masterworks disfigured and demolished, we do not believe it lies in exposing or punishing the hubris of the generation that created them. Rather, the current wave of destruction says more about our own pessimism, the weakness of our potential building legacy, and our lack of patience in finding ways to supersede the cycle of ugliness and make these monstrosities our own.

The show, which is part of the ongoing Heroic Project, opens on April 12 and runs through May 3.

The Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.
David Schalliol courtesy of over,under
Robin Hood Gardens in London.
Oliver Wainwright courtesy of over,under
Third Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.
Rey Lopez courtesy of over,under