Frank Costantino Watercolor on View at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC

Illustrator and Artist, Frank M Costantino, of Winthrop, is extremely pleased to announce the selection of his watercolor painting, Tsuruhama Rainforest, for exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in a themed exhibition,  Emerging Ecologies: Architecture & The Rise Of Environmentalism.

Frank’s work was selected in an unexpected manner, located by the show’s curator about twelve months ago, and who sent his invitation to exhibit the original watercolor in this MOMA show.

Mr. Costantino’s watercolor represents a naturalist rainforest reconstruction under a geodesic dome in Tokyo. His work will be exhibited with other “Emerging Ecology” drawings and sketches from such familiar luminaries as R. Buckminster Fuller, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Eames Office, Costanti Foundation, James Wines, Kevin Roche John  Dinkeloo, and Emilio Ambasz, among many others.

Frank’s large 1-6” x 2-0” watercolor was painted as a collaborative commission with his long-time clients, Cambridge Seven & Associates (C7A) principals Peter Chermayeff FAIA and Peter Sollogub FAIA, the designers for this exhibit. The early concept was very much in its formative stages,                 when Frank was invited to assist these talented architects to sketch, draw, interpret                                      and represent an expansive vision for the project.

The initial inspiration for the drawing began with a very small, 2” x 4” (business card-sized), freehand, three-point perspective of a possible view. With this accepted approach for the drawing, Frank explored sketch designs of the space together with the architects, depicting an enormous number of animal, bird and vegetation specimens unique to this rainforest reconstruction – all to be displayed in a multi-tiered exhibit through treetops, and under a geodesic dome.

Over a number of months, as the sketching evolved toward its final drawing form, the exhibit design firm Lyons-Zaremba provided reference materials for the rainforest’s indigenous wild-life creatures and plants to inhabit and enliven the illustration.

Multiple sketches and overlay drawings in various media were produced to develop ideas for so many elements. In process drawings with media of pentel on yellow trace, color pencil on white trace, ink line with color pencil, and large format marker sketches (more than twenty-five studies in all), the illustration progressed to a very defined form, and a descriptive line drawing was approved as the base line layout for the final watercolor. The composition required a careful composing of so many colorful and actively detailed specimens at appropriate scale and size, while                    balancing these numerous creatures in the expansive space of the exhibit drawing.

It was emphasized by the C7A architects that this illustrative watercolor, which would be very closely scrutinized by many scientists, naturalists, botanists, and wildlife specialists in Japan, required very accurate representation of every element. In addition to the many wildlife forms, a “forested” quality of light and depth and atmosphere of a jungle environment needed to be conveyed in watercolor throughout this very spacious, vertical vista.

The completed Rainforest piece, submitted to the American Society of Architectural Illustrators ( annual competition “Architecture In Perspective Ten” in 1995, was chosen for an “Award of Excellence”; which piece was published in the Society’s AIP 10 Catalogue.                           

On exhibit tour, Tsuruhama was shown in a number of venues during 1995 & ’96 – to wit:

1) Premiere Venue at the Gallery, Newmark Center, Seattle WA; October 1995;

2) American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Washington DC; November-December; 1995;

3) American Institute of Architects (AIA) annual convention, Minneapolis, MN; April 1996;

4) Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Conference                                                                Copenhagen, Denmark; May-June 1996;

5) Japan Architectural Renderers Association (JARA) Annual Convention, Tokyo; July 1996;

6) Korean Architectural Perspectivists Association (KAPA) Convention, at                                                  The Gallery of the Moonwhailbo, Seoul; July-August 1996;

7) The Chicago Architecture Foundation Gallery; August-September 1996.

The Tsuruhama Rainforest painting was also invited for display at local venues; including                                  the 8)  Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and the 9)  Boston Architectural College (BAC).

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