Disappear Here: On Perspective and Other Kinds of Space

Jean-Charles Moreux (1889–1956), Immeuble Ateliers: design for model studio duplex apartment: interior perspective, 1925. Print on wove paper, 390 × 350 mm.

Proportion, distortion, geometry, distance, power, the infinite, the divine – perspective traverses truth and illusion, linking the disciplines of art, architecture and mathematics. For this new exhibition, sponsored by Arper and Colt, the RIBA has commissioned Sam Jacob Studio to explore how perspective drawing has been applied to the art of building for centuries and used as a tool to evoke illusory architectural spaces.

Anon. (Italian), Design for ceiling with columns and coffered arches, c. 1700. © RIBA Collections

Sam Jacob Studio was invited by RIBA to draw on RIBA’s historic collections for inspiration to create a site-specific installation. The Studio has selected a diverse range of items, from rare books dating back to the Renaissance to contemporary works. Highlights vary from John Smythson’s early 17th Century Jacobean designs to a colourful modern interior by Max Clendinning and from Sebastiano Serlio’s architectural treatise Seven Books of Architecture to Etienne-Louis Boullee’s intricately drawn perspectives of neo-classical buildings. Other original drawings on display include works by Andrea Palladio, Edwin Lutyens and William Talman. Additional material on loan from Drawing Matter include modern works from the radical Italian architecture firm Superstudio, French-born American industrial designer Raymond Loewy and British architect James Gowan.

We suggest: for a broad glimpse of other perspectives in the Drawing Matter collection.