Three new videos about Paolo Soleri and his work were made to show with the current exhibition, “Bridges: Spanning the Ideas of Paolo Soleri” at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

The video, “Bridges: Spanning the Ideas of Paolo Soleri,” introduces and clarifies the role of bridge design in Soleri’s evolving work. The video traces development  from early experiments in concrete to incorporating the cosmic potential of the natural world and using a bridge as a cultural container for the city, combining habitation with the traditional bridge function of connecting the landscape. Suspension bridges, a later design exploration, pulsate with the rhythm of the environment.

[Stonebow 1969 -Soleri Archives, Cosanti Foundation]


The Scottsdale Bridge, Paolo Soleri’s only built bridge, is a suspension bridge and the subject of the video, “Soleri Pedestrian Bridge: Design Development.” Scottsdale Public Art first approached Paolo Soleri to design a pedestrian bridge over the Arizona Canal in 1990. The video shows the design process over the years and describes the final version’s pulsing interaction with the rhythm of the city and the sun.

[early version of the Scottsdale Bridge -Soleri Archives, Cosanti Foundation]

The exhibition includes sketchbooks and scrolls, which by their nature, present problems for full display. A sketchbook of 400 pages can be opened in only one place at a time, showing only two pages. A scroll, typically 20 – 180 feet long, can be arranged to show only a small portion.  “The Drawings of Paolo Soleri: Sketchbooks and Scrolls” gives the viewer a sense of the material in its totality.

Tomiaki Tamura made the videos and is guest curator for the exhibition at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition closes January 23, 2011. The Scottsdale Bridge opening and dedication celebrations are scheduled for Saturday, December  11th.

[1962 Sketchbook -Soleri Archives, Cosanti Foundation]

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