Terence Riley



The influence of an architecture critic is measured by talent but also by their presence in the arenas where public opinion is formed. These are two qualities that Terence Riley, who died at 66, undoubtedly possessed. Riley studied and practiced architecture, but his major talent was in the field of architectural research and dissemination. He taught at universities in New York and Germany before taking charge of the Columbia Architecture Galleries, institution from which, thanks to Philip Johnson, he moved on to New York’s MoMA, where he was chief curator of architecture and design for fourteen years. From there he steered the extension project by Taniguchi and held major exhibitions, some devoted to the masters, like ‘Frank Lloyd Wright: Architect’ (1994) and ‘Mies in Berlin’ (2001) and others focussed on contemporary trends like ‘On-Site: New Architecture in Spain’ (2006), which was so important in bringing global recognition to Spanish architecture. Always active, Riley devoted the last years of his career to exploring new forms of curatorship at institutions like the Pérez Art Museum Miami, a city where he leaves an indelible mark.

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