Emily Holley" />
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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Life + Arts

Mashburn hosts professor’s designs

As I walked into the Joseph Mashburn gallery in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia.

With all of their bright colors, precise angles and curves, the art that decorated the walls of the gallery made me feel like I was the little girl, as the work was reminiscent of the artistic and creative portrayals of the future that I saw in the contemporary resort building at Disney World.

These are the works of UH Architecture professor Robert Griffin, who just recently began using the computer for non-representational, large-scale computer drawings for his art, explained professor of Architecture Design Bruce C. Webb in the gallery program.

I felt a bit out of my element, considering I know absolutely nothing about architecture, but I found myself enjoying the complexities of Griffin’s work.

All his art was made by computer, which allowed for a number of interesting shapes not seen in traditional art.

As Webb said in the program, “In these visions, Robert Griffin has found the right frame, the cone of vision, the right place to stand to use it as an instrument of creation.”

A couple of the works could be considered a type of still-life. For instance, the work “Box of Birds,” is an overhead shot of the contents of a wooden box that is filled with birds made of wood.

The picture is meticulous, as everything is set out on a plane and every part of the box has been laid out for the viewer to see in detail. The actual box of birds is in a glass case in the middle of the room as a visual reference.

Griffin also appeared to use photography in some of his works. One of his works, entitled “2/22/11,” consists of a huge, gray stone window that looks out into geometric shapes, lines and curves of blue, black and grey. Another work, “Galileo,” was similar in that it had an open stone door leading out into the stars. In this piece, a straight line is shot out of the door to the bottom of the frame that viewers can interpret as a trail left by a shooting star.

In the gallery, there are three works next to each other entitled, “Circle Plaza,” “Chapel Study Plan/ Section” and “Black Weave” that stood out from the rest. They were more vibrant and colorful than the others.

They were bit busier in a good way, and they held my attention the longest. They were also positioned in such a way in the gallery that it appeared that Griffin was saving the best for last.

“They are definitely the works of an architect, and it is impossible not to think of architecture in nearly all of them,” said Webb.

The exhibit entitled ENVISIONING: Digital Drawings by Robert Griffin were held in the Hines Gallery from March 28 – April 6.

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