Overshadowed by the infamous Black September terrorist attacks, the art and architecture surrounding the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich have been largely forgotten. Christine Mehring and Sean Keller’s book will recover this history and will examine the Olympics’ multiple significances: for West German and North American cultures coming to terms with Germany’s postwar identity; for the formation of an international art world and transatlantic artistic exchanges; for the dilemmas of postwar national monumentality; and for computational methods of contemporary architectural design.
Christine Mehring’s writing straddles a set of disciplinary divisions that have shaped our understanding of art made during the previous century: divisions between European and American art, between so-called modernism and the avant-garde, between scholarship and criticism, between art made before and after World War II, and between traditional and new media. Her cross-continental perspective on postwar art grows out of her experience as a German who originally came to the United States to study American art. Her research seeks to define the continental, at times national, specificity of art made in Europe since 1945, while also considering its engagement and eventual alignment with postwar American art. Mehring has taught as an associate professor of art history at the University of Chicago since 2007. She holds a PhD in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University.
Sean Keller is a historian and critic of modern and contemporary architecture, with a focus on the relationship between architecture and technology after 1945. He is a frequent contributor to Artforum, with articles on computational architecture, the Beijing Olympics, Buckminster Fuller, Renzo Piano, and Liam Gillick. His writings have also appeared in the anthologies Atomic Dwelling and Architecture and Authorship and in the journals Grey Room, Perspecta, Constructs, and Art Journal. He is an assistant professor of architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology, and has taught at Harvard and Yale. He is currently working on a book entitled Semi-Automatic: Architectural Design Methods, 1960-1975. He holds a PhD in architecture from Harvard University.