There is an exhibition currently hanging in the penthouse of the Museum of Modern Art in New York: Far removed from the clamor of the street and the jostling of the crowd, a selection of delicately conceived and exquisitely executed drawings remind us that, even in the age of pragmatism, ideal architecture still preoccupies creative minds. From the recent past and the lived present, these studies speak of impossible futures, irresistible impulses, and inconsequential fantasies. Hoary technotopia from Archigram; satyrical dreamscapes from Superstudio; metalinguistics from Argentina's nouvelle vague; eclecticism, superrationalism, and painterly metaphor from New York's (and Princeton's) Five add up to form a picture of the whole tangled web of idealism and counter-idealism that has constituted today's attempt at visionary architecture. This exhibition raises, as do all such manifestations of the realm of utopia, questions as to the relation between art and daily life.

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