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Atlanta architect, John Portman, exhibition at High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA

March 5, 2010

John Portman’s reconsideration of public space and urban experience has radically redefined the way many cities look and feel. His influence is perhaps most evident in his hometown of Atlanta, where a seventeen-block complex known as Peachtree Center includes landmark projects such as AmericasMart, the world’s largest single wholesale marketplace, and the Hyatt Regency Atlanta (1967), which made architectural history and won international acclaim as the first modern atrium hotel.

“John Portman has not only radically altered the skyline of his home city, Atlanta, but cities throughout the world,” stated Jeffrey Grove, the High’s Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “His reconsideration of how architecture should function and the experience it should offer visitors completely changed the industry.”

Tracing Portman’s more than fifty year career, the exhibition “John Portman: Art and Architecture” (open till April 18, 2010) explores his innovative design philosophy, which integrates art, architecture, and furniture of his own design to create dramatic spaces that invite human interaction.

In addition to his achievements and influence as an architect, John Portman also engages in a more personal artistic practice as a painter and sculptor. John Portman: Art & Architecture includes approximately fifty-five works of art created by Portman since 1981, most of which have never been exhibited in public.

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