CFP: Architecture and Public Art, 1975-Present - Special Issue of Arts

Andrew Wasserman's picture
Call for Papers
March 15, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History / Studies

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 March 2023

Guest Editor: Andrew Wasserman, American University


Readers paging through issues of Architectural Record in the 1980s might have noticed that the editors seemed to have strong opinions about the relationship between architecture and public art. Beyond editorial musings on the two fields, announcements of recently approved and completed commissions, and photographic spreads highlighting projects blurring distinctions between sculpture and architecture, the periodical included Charles Saxon’s cartoons. Along with his illustrations taking jabs at the overplanting of foliage-filled atrium spaces, the popularity of golf course communities, and Postmodernist icons, such as Michael Graves’ Portland Building (1982) and Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s AT&T Building (1984), Saxon’s cartoons offered commentary on public artworks. They tapped into the conversations, collaborations, and contestations occurring between architects and public artists, interactions managed by project commissioning agents and eventually navigated by urban and suburban audiences. Readers recognized these drawings as encoding concerns about the use, form, and interpretation of public spaces, and they asked whose works would fill these spaces.

This Special Issue of Arts invites contributions that consider how architects and public artists negotiated these concerns and spaces from 1975 to the present day. This Special Issue will track these sometimes seamless, sometimes begrudging, and sometimes hostile engagements when architects and public artists jointly developed works, sites, and city plans. Where and when do the practices and concerns of architecture and public art come together? How have architects encouraged artists to design plaza sculptures, indoor and outdoor furniture pieces, or functional interior design elements? How have artists modified their own practices to respond to architectural interests informed by parametric scripting or pursuits of green building certifications? What influence have new funding sources and zoning incentives had on the alignment of the fields of architecture and public art? Contributions may take the form of scholarly analyses of historical moments, geographic circumstances, and stylistic traditions, as well as interviews and other creative formats.


Manuscript Submission Information

Information about manuscript submission can be found:

All article submissions for this Special Issue of Arts will be processed free of charge.

All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process.



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