Modern Forms

Modern Forms : A Subjective Atlas of 20th Century Architecture

4.35 (14 ratings by Goodreads)
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At once a reference work and a personal exploration of modernist architecture, this fascinating collection of Nicolas Grospierre's photography covers structures built between 1920 and 1989 in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. These images range from iconic buildings, such as the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis and the Ukrainian Institute of Scientific Research and Development in Kiev, to little-known structures such as the Balneological Hospital in Druskininkai, Lithuania or Oscar Niemeyer's unfinished International Fair Grounds in Tripoli. Derived from his popular blog, A Subjective Atlas of Modern Architecture, and organised by architectural form, this book reveals how modernist architecture is the embodiment of political and social ideologies, especially in public institutions such as banks, churches, libraries and government buildings. Following the series of full-page images, an index details the location, date, architect and purpose of each building. While many of the buildings in this archive often go unrecognised, their forms are prominent in the landscape of modern civilization. Grospierre's keen eye and enthusiasm for the mundane as well as the sublime will motivate readers to look at the buildings around them in new and exciting ways.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 240 x 280 x 25.4mm | 1,632.93g
  • Munich, Germany
  • English
  • 188 Illustrations, color
  • 3791382292
  • 9783791382296
  • 228,898

Review Text

Form precedes function in this stunning visual archive of nearly 200 images of modern architecture...
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Review quote

"Modern Forms...a coffee-table volume that must be one of the fanciest Tumblr-to-book projects ever. Grospierre walks us around the world through modern architecture in a meander organized not geographically or historically, but visually . . . It's no surprise that Grospierre is a hit on Tumblr, which has a thing for architectural decay porn -- there's nothing it loves more than an abandoned amusement park. This artist is no voyeur, though: he's providing a valuable service by contextualizing these buildings, by documenting them, and by bringing some minor landmarks (particularly those from the former Soviet Union and Soviet Bloc) to the attention of a wider audience."
-The Tangential

"Photographed and compiled by Nicolas Grospierre, this is a stunning achievement that is much more than just a book of architectural photographs. This is a compendium of some of the most well known and not so well known structures of the 20th century, handpicked by an individual who has traveled the world in search of interesting, innovative and important structures. From monuments to bus stops, we have not seen a collection quite like this before."
-The Brvtalist

"For the past 15 years, Nicolas Grospierre has traveled the globe documenting modern architecture. Now the Geneva-born, Warsaw-based photographer has compiled his striking images, many of which have never before been published, in a new book, Modern Forms: A Subjective Atlas of 20th-Century Architecture. It contains nearly 200 photographs arranged by form, rather than geography, allowing Grospierre to create a complete look at the many ways that architecture follows political and social ideologies."
-Architectural Digest

"The sometimes-subtle distinction between the celebrated and the banal intrigues the Swiss-born photographer Nicolas Grospierre. For over a decade, he's traveled the world documenting modern structures--those constructed between 1920 and 1989--as a visual record of the failures and successes, and the humble and iconic designs of the era. He has compiled 200 photographs in a new book called Modern Forms: A Subjective Atlas of 20th-Century Architecture. . . . Modernism was intended as a vehicle to promote social good and guarantee good design for the masses. To that end, Grospierre focuses on structures like churches, bus stops, sports centers, and mass housing projects. Many of them were built under Communist regimes. While modernism's lofty social and ideological mission never fulfilled expectations, its formal exercises continued to evolve over the decades. Grospierre's photographs show how architects in less-covered places like the Crimean peninsula, Baltic countries, and Middle East explored crazy shapes and silhouettes in hopes of tapping into the idealized vision of progress through design."
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About Nicolas Grospierre

NICOLAS GROSPIERRE was awarded the Golden Lion at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale for his joint exhibition in the Polish Pavilion with Kobas Laksa. His photographs are exhibited in major cities around the world.
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14 ratings
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4 36% (5)
3 14% (2)
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