February 21, 2013

Western Hemisphere/Pittsburgh Finally Getting A Lozziwurm


A press release announces that the Carnegie Museum of Art is installing a Lozziwurm in a new "pocket park" in front of the museum, in advance of two potentially awesome, upcoming shows: the 2013 incarnation of the venerable Carnegie International, which doesn't open til October, and The Playground Project, a survey of postwar playground design opening in June. The Wurm will be open for play in late April.

A Lozziwurm is a tubular, Habitrail-like playground structure designed in 1972 by the Swiss sculptor/designer Yvan Pestalozzi. Its varied, snake-like forms are built up from just two modules, one straight and one bent, held together with what look like big, old hose clamps.

Zurich's Lozziwurm illustrated in Rouard & Simon's important 1976 survey, Children's Play Spaces, as ganked from architectureuerkinder

The early 1970s were a banner year for giant, molded plastic playthings. But the 1974 Oil Crisis wrapped that story up sadder and quicker than a Very Special Episode of Silver Spoons. Still, Pestalozzi says that over 110 Lozziwurmen have been installed all over Europe, from Zurich to Basel to Geneva, but none in Pittsburgh's half of the globe.

The Museum notes that the Wurm "explores play as the foundation of thinking, making, and experimentation, a key animating concept of the 2013 Carnegie International." Co-curator Daniel Bauman notes that the Lozziwurm is also one of several aspects of the International, which airdrops in on the city every 3-5 years or whenever, to "deepen [the] engagement with Pittsburgh," which has hosted the show for well over a century now. "We all agreed that this exhibition would not drop on the city from out of nowhere," he said. Indeed.

Franz West at Art Unlimited, 2012, image: artbasel.com

Franz West whose bright, climbable, poo-lookin' sculptures are usually plopped in front of museums in situations like this, was not available for comment, because he passed away last year.

2013 Carnegie International exhibition blog [cmoa.org via pr]
Buy a used copy of Rouard & Simon's Children's Play Spaces for between $13 and $733 [amazon]
Spielplastiken [architecturefuerkinder.ch]
Dude, we built a Lozziwurm! [gsr.ch]


Pittsburgh? In October? I foresee a Lozziworm floor lined with puddles and wet leaves. Should be nice. Remind me to bring extra pants for the kids.

Hey Seth,

The Lozziwurm will be open as early as April's end. The full exhibition will open October 5. It's part of our feeling that the exhibition shouldn't just invade the city, but will be developed as a conversation.

Awesome post, dt

-Jonathan, Carnegie Museum of Art

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