Mise En Abyme

Skyline didn’t build anybody up,” asserted Peter Eisenman at a recent event about the short-lived (1978 to 1983) but influential monthly of that name—a name that survives in the title that has been willfully given to this very column and an event that was organized by this very publication. Eisenman, the overseer of the Institute for Architecture and Urbanism, of which, along with the more formal journal Oppositions, the newspaper was a house publication, traded anecdotes with its second editor, Suzanne Stephens; the graphic designer of its Massimo Vignelli–blessed first iteration, Lorraine Wild; and the graphic designer of its looser second iteration, Michael Bierut, now a partner at Pentagram, the multidisciplinary design studio at whose lofty offices the panel was held. Bold-named attendees included Cynthia Davidson and Mario Gandelsonas. There was a charming slideshow, curated by NYRA publisher Nicolas Kemper, illustrating the boldness and rigor (as well as the constraints of doctrinaire modernism and waxy paste-up lettering) of another time. Stephens issued a s…

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