Mark Zlotsky “Topiary Tango”

The Center for Architecture

poster for Mark Zlotsky “Topiary Tango”

This event has ended.

Based on research by 2017 Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel grant recipient Mark Zlotsky, the exhibition explores the architectural possibilities of this changing medium, capable of breathing new life into otherwise calcified constructions.

The exhibition, curated by 2017 Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant recipient Mark Zlotsky, delves into the research conducted during his trek through Italy, France, and the United Kingdom.

As the 2017 recipient of the Center for Architecture’s Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant, Zlotsky was awarded $15,000 to pursue research on the intersection between topiary and architecture. The grant was established by the Center for Architecture to further the development of early and mid-career architects through travel focused on a select topic of individual interest. Zlotsky’s four-month journey took him to Rome and Sicily, back north through France and Monaco to England, Scotland, Wales, and Dublin. He frolicked through the fountains of Villa d’Este, marveled at the Marqueyssac Garden’s abstract boxwoods, and spied Darth Vader’s bust in the classical Leven’s Hall estate. Zlotsky stayed in 33 cities, visited over 100 villages, wandered 61 gardens, and sauntered 1,700 miles.

As a result of this research, Topiary Tango proposes a method for designing architecture that responds to ever-changing contexts and gives people agency to intervene on static buildings through topiary. The exhibition asks visitors to reconsider the horticultural practice of sculpting perennial plants into shapes as more than ostentatious expressions of wealth or tacky lawn maintenance, but rather as an additional building material. A forgiving medium, topiary opens opportunities for gardening newcomers and veterans alike to influence architecture-scaled masses.

The exhibition at the Center for Architecture will take place in an immersive topiary room featuring live plantings. A brief history, accompanied by photography of notable gardens from around the world, outlines the gardening practice from the Romans to today. Topiary Tango also includes an introduction to making topiary, from selecting the right plants to sculpting examples, as well as an exploration of the design implications of wrapping architecture in topiary. The endless and playful nature of the art of topiary is evident through examples of topiary architecture; a collection of quirky, bushy architecture models; and imaginative hand drawings by Zlotsky.

Topiary Tango Talk
Monday, July 15, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
With Mark Zlotsky, 2017 Recipient, Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant; Curator, Topiary Tango



from July 11, 2019 to September 14, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-07-11 from 18:00 to 20:00


Mark Zlotsky

  • Facebook


    All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
    New York Art Beat (2008) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use