“All around us we see signs of this confusion. Americans are often called a “materialistic” people and we certainly are surrounded by material possessions and revel in them. But at the same time, the “real world” of physical location seems to be evaporating before our eyes.”
“Narcissism? Culture in decline? It’s the whole world. Venice was narcissistic, full of iconic buildings, and declined for 500 years, but was still the most pleasant city to live in for much of this time.”
For Le Corbusier, true, great architecture – meaning, architecture motivated by the quest for efficiency – was more likely to be found in a 40,000-kilowatt electricity turbine or a low-pressure ventilating fan. It was to these machines that his books accorded the reverential photographs which previous architectural writers had reserved for cathedrals and opera houses.
In 1959, he referred to esteemed critic Clement Greenberg and others as “wandering mongrels” only able to “cock a leg” against work they could not understand.
By 1973, the “technological faith, confidence, and competence” Hines sees embodied in the modernism of the early sixties had already taken a battering. Deaton’s Sculptured House stood empty, its interior still unfinished, when the makers of Sleeper came looking for locations.
The 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize was awarded to the Japanese duo, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. Their firm, Sanaa, is responsible for creating some of the most daring and elegant buildings of the last decade, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2007), and the 21st Century museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.
Last year Macro-Sea conceived of the Dumpster Pool. The designers constructed what they call a “lo-fi country club” in a trash-filled lot in Brooklyn. The mini oasis consisted of three adjacent swimming pools made out of repurposed dumpsters.
Born in Antwerp in 1554, Bril was working in Italy at the end of the century, where his landscapes marked the transition between what Paolucci called the “autumn of Mannerism” of the Renaissance and the birth of the Baroque style. The change was enormous, and Bril is acknowledged as among its authors.
And what a treasure trove! By the time of his death in 1951, Barnes had purchased 181 works by Renoir, 69 by Cezanne, 7 Van Gogh paintings, 59 works by Matisse, 11 by Degas, 16 by Modigliani, 46 Picasso’s, with 4 apiece by Manet and Monet. He also collected modern American works by William Glackens, Charles Demuth and Maurice and Charles Prendergast. His eclectic tastes extended to African sculptures, European decorative art, American folk art and quirky curiosities like an American Civil War surgeon’s saw.
Mawer’s The Glass Room is a genuine intellectual achievement—a breath-taking story of love and its loss, of art and lost art, of wars lost and then won and lost again, of rich gentleman Jews and Jews lost to Nazi madness. His broad canvas covers the decades of Mittel-European horrors that began in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. The themes are familiar, but treated in a fresh and stimulating, not to say disturbing, way.
A photographic essay: Art Deco in Havana, Cuba.
“I think the most powerful common thread running through Kahn’s work was his humanity. He seems to have believed deeply in the idea that humankind is perfectible, and that architecture could play a role in that.”