Mies [Muse]

A tribute to Mies van der Rohe with new books by Aaron Krach and Philip Tomaru
April 16, 2016
5 -7 PM

On the occasion of Mies van der Rohe’s 130th birthday, Aaron Krach and Philip Tomaru present three new publications that reckon with the architect’s place in history, popular culture, and the modernist canon. Cake will be served. It wouldn’t be a birthday party without it.

Krach’s new book, Dark Pools (Almost Everything) is a shadow of Mies van der Rohe Furniture and Drawings, the catalog for a 1977 exhibition at MoMA dedicated to the architect’s furniture. Massimo Vignelli designed the slender paperback with brutal simplicity. “I found a dog-eared copy and lingered over its beauty,” Krach explains. “But I could not shake a sense of dread. Something dark lurked between the pages. The utopia imagined by Mies and Vignelli never arrived. Machine production rendered craftsman irrelevant. Minimal forms did not improve daily life. Innovative designs became ordinary, now filling bank lobbies and corporate boardrooms. Dark Pools inverts the original. Black is white. Shiny is matte. The cover is screen-printed by hand instead of machine-printed. The book is still elegant and stark, but the darkness is clear. Much is obscured and yet more, perhaps, is revealed.

Tomaru releases two new publications. BLINDS and WALLS are the first and second volumes in a three-part series, concluding with WINDOWS. The photographic-based series explores issues related to public-private space, transparency, and cognitive-affective processes as Tomaru negotiates the messy terrain of the modernist architecture program inter-mingled with his own lived-experience in one of Mies van der Rohe’s last residential buildings. Each book in the series is published using a different method, including risography, photocopy, and offset.

Dark Pools is available here


Aaron Krach is an artist based in NYC. Recently, he has worked with people, books, rocks, text, vodka, Purell, and a taxidermy goat to make books, sculptures, prints, and installations.

Philip Tomaru lives and works in New York and Baltimore.