Le Corbusier's Secret Laboratory

Le Corbusier's Secret Laboratory : From Painting to Architecture


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Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, had an unparalleled influence on the design, function and construction of twentieth-century buildings, both public and residential. In addition, he was an artist and designer--an aspect of his creativity which was somewhat eclipsed by his architectural renown. Le Corbusier had originally intended to be a painter and his early studies were primarily focused on art and decoration. For more than five decades, Le Corbusier oscillated between contradictory poles: his fascination with mechanical objects on the one hand, and his search for poetic form on the other. The intermingling of his more private aesthetic pursuits and his more public works took place in his "secret laboratory," inside his artist's studio. This volume consolidates the diverse facets of his oeuvre, offering a more complete understanding of his paintings, drawings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, architectural sketches and plans--as well as his books and photographs. In tying together these disparate strands, we gain greater insight into the path of his overall creative evolution. This unified overview is revealing both for scholars of Le Corbusier's work and for all those seeking a better understanding of this exceptionally talented and significant historical figure. The book's five chapters cover a wide spectrum, ranging from the purist paintings and early villas to Le Corbusier's later reinterpretation of his values and his final works. Perhaps the most important visionary of modern architecture, the Swiss-born Le Corbusier (1887-1965) broke new ground in reimagining residences, workplaces and urban environments--aiming to provide an enhanced quality of life for all--especially for the poorer classes. Prolific and an enthusiastic traveler, his work can be found at locations throughout Europe, India and America.

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  • Hardback | 468 pages
  • 168 x 242 x 32mm | 1,139.98g
  • Hatje Cantz
  • OstfildernGermany
  • English
  • 3775735682
  • 9783775735681
  • 1,045,650

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Review quote

While it has long been known that Le Corbusier painted in the morning and tended to his architectural practice in the afternoon, the relationship between the two has never been examined in the kind of depth that editors Cohen and Ahrenberg bring to bear in this fascinating collection of essays. Cohen's opening survey of Le Corbusier's career is exemplary of the genre and sparkles with insights. Bruno Reichlin and Genevieve Hendricks decipher the architect's purist and postpurist paintings, respectively, in terms of their relationship to Le Corbusier's architecture. Additional essays by Johan Linton, Pascal Mory, and Catherine Dumont d' Ayot are concerned, also respectively, with Le Corbusier's unrealized plan for Stockholm, his numerous museum projects, and his exhibition pavilions for Heidi Weber in Zurich and Theodor Ahrenberg in Stockholm. The "secret laboratory" is the painting studio in Paris where the architect germinated many of his ideas. Lavishly illustrated with photographs and Le Corbusier's drawings and brilliant paintings, this book significantly expands reader's appreciation of Le Corbusier's boundless creative production. Summing up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.--J. Quinan"Choice" (05/01/2014)

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