The suburbs have always been a fertile space for imagining both the best and the worst of modern social life. Portrayed alternately as a middle-class domestic utopia and a dystopic world of homogeneity and conformity—with manicured suburban lawns and the inchoate darkness that lurks just beneath the surface—these stereotypes belie a more realistic understanding of contemporary suburbia and its dynamic transformations. Organized by the Walker Art Center in association with the Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art, Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes is the first major museum exhibition to examine both the art and architecture of the contemporary American suburb. Featuring paintings, photographs, prints, architectural models, sculptures and video from more than 30 artists and architects, including Christopher Ballantyne, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Gregory Crewdson, Estudio Teddy Cruz, Dan Graham and Larry Sultan, Worlds Away demonstrates the catalytic role of the American suburb in the creation of new art and prospective architecture. Conceived as a revisionist and even contrarian take on the conventional wisdom surrounding suburban life, the catalogue features new essays and seminal writings by John Archer, Robert Beuka, Robert Breugmann, David Brooks, Beatriz Colomina, Malcolm Gladwell and others, as well as a lexicon of suburban neologisms.
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