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from 30 JAN 2015 to 03 MAY 2015
Devoted to the practice of Polish architect, urban planner, theorist and pedagogue Oskar Hansen (Helsinki, 1922 ? Warsaw, 2005), this exhibition traces the evolution of his theory of Open Form from its origins in his own architectural projects through its application in film, visual games and performance art by other artists. 
Hansen was a member of the architectural group Team 10, whose theoretical framework, disseminated primarily through teaching and publications, had a profound influence on the development of architectural thought in the second half of the 20th century, primarily in Europe. For Hansen the role of the architect in shaping the space was limited to the creation of a ‘perceptive background’, with architecture exposing the diversity of activities and individuals sharing a space. Focusing on process, subjectivity and the creation of a framework for individual expression, Hansen turns architecture into an instrument to be transformed by its users and easily adapted to their changing needs. While teaching at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts, Hansen promulgated his theory of Open Form to numerous generations of students, encouraging them to pursue art practices beyond the limits of traditional disciplines. 
The exhibition develops the idea of Open Form through the main areas to which the architect applied it. Its three sections — Pedagogy of Open Form, Architecture of Events and Politics of Scale — are followed by Tradition of Open Form, located in the mezzanine of the Serralves Library and tracing the appropriation of the concept of Open Form in the works of younger generations. The architectural design of the works and objects on display refers to Hansen’s own designs for exhibitions and becomes an integral part of the display.  

‘Oskar Hansen: Open Form’ is curated by Aleksandra Kedziorek and Lukasz Ronduda and organized by the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona (MACBA), in association with the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto. 

Curators: Aleksandra Kedziorek and Lukasz Ronduda 

Exhibition design by CENTRALA

Image: Oskar Hansen at the AICA congress in Wroclaw, 1975. Photo: S. Stepniewski, digital proof. Credits: Oskar Hansen Archive, courtesy Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts Museum.
Related Activities

27 FEB, 22h00-24h00, FREE ENTRANCE
A short concert by the Acre trio (Filipe Felizardo, Gabriel Ferrandini and Pedro Sousa) will take place at 11 p.m.

ACRE is formed by Gabriel Ferrandini on drums and percussion, Pedro Sousa on saxophone, and Filipe Felizardo on the electric guitar. The trio was formed in 2011. It never aimed to be an ad-hoc project. With three singular itineraries across the Lisbon and European music scene (Ferrandini in Motion and RED Trio's, Pedro Sousa in Canzana and EITR, and Filipe Felizardo as a solo performer), the three musicians share the same passion for unspeakable violent improvised music and debris-free rock. Although they’ve only rarely given performances, the band’s manifesto defends a raw sculptural attitude, both in terms of their united timbres and their discourses, focused on the narrative of the concert.


Guided visit with curator Aleksandra Kedziorek
Capacity: 30 
Access: by purchase of Museum+Park ticket (issued on the day)

Guided tour for Members by Ricardo Nicolau
Capacity: 30 
Access: free

Meeting in the exhibition with Joaquim Moreno, Architect, Professor at Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University, at Universidade do Minho and at Universidade Autónoma
Capacity: 30 
Access: by purchase of Museum+Park ticket (issued on the day)


Capacity: 30 
Access: by purchase of Museum+Park ticket (issued on the day)

By Inês Caetano

By Rita Martins


02 MAY (SAT), 16H30-18H30
In this workshop, we’ll set off in discovery of the work of Polish architect Oskar Hansen and his concept of Open Form. We will observe and interact with drawings, scale models and games. Inspired by his ideas, in this family workshop, we will create spaces that are open to unpredictability and participation, where the individual and collective are interwoven in games of addition and transformation. We will build a giant scale model which will lead to unexpected readings from the emerging architecture.
Workshop by Inês Caetano 
Access: €5 / family (max. of 3 persons: 2 adults and 1 child or 1 adult and 2 children) or free subject to presentation of a ticket to the Museum and Park 
Max. no. of participants: 30 persons (adults + children)
Institutional Support
Sponsor of the Exhibition
Exclusive Sponsor of The Museum
  • LocationSerralves Museum
  • Days 30 JAN 2015 - 03 MAY 2015
Oskar Hansen was born in Helsinki in 1922. He graduated from the Technical College in Vilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1942, then studied in the Department of Architecture at the Technical University, Warsaw (1945?1950). In the 1940s and the first half of the 1950s, Hasen also took up painting and sculpture, which he later dismissed as examples of ‘Closed Form’.
In 1948?1950 he visited France, Italy and England and studied under Fernand Léger and Pierre Jeanneret; he also became acquainted with Le Corbusier, Henry Moore and Jerzy Soltan. From 1950 to 1983 he lectured at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw. He was also a member of the Groupe d’Étude d’Architecture Moderne (GEAM).
Hansen’s theory had a fundamental influence on the Polish concepts of ‘environment’, ‘dziela-procesu’ (works of process) and ‘performance’ in the 1960s. It was fully expressed in his competition plan for the international monument for the victims of fascism at Auschwitz-Birkenau (1957; with Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz and Julian Palka). In the 1960s Hansen developed the Open Form theory into the ‘linear continuous system’ theory, which envisaged the extension of his principles to the arrangement of buildings and communications on a larger scale; projects included the housing estate at Przyczulek Grochowski, Warsaw (1963), the district plan for Warsaw-Ursynów (1966?68) and proposals for town, regional and national plans. He also designed several international exhibition buildings during his career, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art (1966), Skopje, and the Polish Embassy (1973), Washington, D.C.
Hansen’s contribution to the Team 10 discourse mainly revolves around the Open Form theory, which he presented at the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) in Otterlo in 1959. He also presented the Auschwitz monument on this occasion. Hansen  was also regular contributor to the architectural journal Le Carré bleu. 

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