Anyone who has seen an architectural rendering realizes that architectural design on paper can read as pure geometric abstraction. In a two-dimensional state, architecture can be stunning in the reductive simplicity of line and form. Perhaps it is for this reason that Japanese architect Arata Isozaki casts his museum designs in shallow relief lead plates.
Isozaki is the architect of L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art whose use of natural materials and scrupulous geometry creates such a serene and harmonious backdrop for art. That same aesthetic balance is also felt in these small lead reliefs. The floor plans, roof plans and a few elevations are strikingly spare, geometric shapes completely free from extraneous details. Stripped to the essentials, the balanced elegance of the overall form takes precedence over functional form. By casting the stark structural design in lead, Isozaki manages to make architectural concepts into art objects that venerate his minimalist underpinnings. (Kirsten Kiser Gallery, 964 N. La Brea Ave., to Jan. 6.)