Architecture in the Landscape – Exhibition

Tour Eiffel-Ses Hanches

“TERRA FIRMA: An Exhibition of Landscapes” opens Friday April 5, with an opening reception from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Marya Veeck’s August House Gallery, 2113 W. Roscoe, Chicago. 

It runs through April 27.



Robert Gordon

Buildings aren’t just structure, form and function.  Alfred Caldwell used to tell his students that architecture came from the landscape.  Build them out of the ground they will stand on.  The venerated professor of architecture and landscape architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology taught his students there was no distinction between architecture and the landscape.  One proceeded from the other.  Buildings were part of their setting whether prairie, seacoast, forest, or an urban streetscape. Buildings, Caldwell’s idea, were true to their environment. Robert Gordon learned architecture and planning at IIT and his teacher was Alfred Caldwell.

Bob Gordon is an architect , artist and printmaker who travels the globe seeking out significant architecture in a wide variety of landscapes. His subjects include the gardens and monuments of Paris, tropical scenes in Tahiti, the canals, harbors and bridges of Venice, cafes in Moroccan desert towns, the Caribbean jungle island of Jamaica, the Acropolis in Athens and the Greek Islands, New York and Central Park, and his home town of Chicago, “a City in a Garden”. He has made thousands of on-site drawings at these locations as part of his development of further studies in watercolors, etchings, lithographs and serigraphs (silk screens). The metal plates, lithography stones and the silk screens are hand-crafted by the artist, to produce very limited editions.

A substantial collection of Robert Gordon’s original artwork and architectural drawings have been acquired by the Galvin Library Archives at Illinois Institute of Technology for viewing by scholars and art lovers.  His work has been exhibited in galleries in Paris, San Francisco and Chicago.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Original drawing and Serigraph ca 1987


The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the world’s most beautiful and dramatic structures. The entry to the bay itself, even without the bridge, is dramatically surrounded by golden hills and sunsets. The surrounding landscape and ocean bay provide the foreground and background for this colorful bridge.  This edition of prints was made in the Mission District Cultural Center in San Francisco.

Tour Eiffel, Paris

TourEiffel DSC05290

Metal plate etching, with dry point, aquatint, hard roller and burin, original sketches and metal plate gravures,          ca 1985

The Eiffel Tower sits at the end of the perspective of the Champ de Mars, forming a promenade lined by trees at the approach to the Tower.

The metal plate gravures (etchings) of the Eiffel Tower were made at the historic Atelier 17 in Paris, under the watchful eye of William Stanley Hayter, master printmaker. They make use of an innovative technique called “viscosity printing”, where certain inks resist each other, enabling all of the colors to be made with one single plate.

San Marco Café, Venice Harbor

Original drawing in 1989, Lithograph, ca 1996

venice-marco polo venise-marco polo

The city of Venice is often shrouded in fog from its misty waters. Rendering Venice is an exercise in atmosphere and low color saturation. The lithograph stones are an excellent medium to depict this atmosphere.

The stones for the lithograph were prepared in collaboration with David Jones, master printmaker of Anchor Graphics, Chicago. The color separation was done on Photoshop. Each color was then produced on an individual stone and they were combined to make the final print. Record prints were made at each phase of adding color.


One thought on “Architecture in the Landscape – Exhibition

  1. Gordon’s images reveal the built as part of the landscape. Thank you for this way of seeing and thinking! Chicago’s lucky to be able to see this exhibit of his work. Nan

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