The lawn occupies a central, though less considered, place in America’s cultural landscape. In spaces as diverse as city parks, town squares, and suburban backyards, it has played an essential part in the development of American national identity. It is also symbolically tied to notions of community and civic responsibility, serving in the process as one of the foundations of democracy.
Published in conjunction with the 1998 CCA exhibition of the same title, The American Lawn examines the lawn within its historical, artistic, literary, and political contexts, situating it on the boundary between utopian ideal and dystopian nightmare. Contributions from historians, theorists, and architects cover a variety of topics, ranging from European precedents to the golf course fairway as a model for today’s flawless suburban lawn. Illustrations and references are drawn from film and television, horticultural and architectural publications, gardening tools, corporate literature, and the fine arts.
Edited by Georges Teyssot. Essays by Teyssot, Monique Mosser, Thérèse O’Malley, Alessandra Ponte, Virginia Scott Jenkins, Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley. Text and graphics project by Diller + Scofidio.
Softcover, 220 pages. Published in English. Co-published with the Princeton Architectural Press.