Hal Foster, author of the acclaimed Design and Crime, argues that a fusion of architecture and art is a defining feature of contemporary culture. He identifies a “global style” of architecture—as practiced by Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano—analogous to the international style of Le Corbusier, Gropius and Mies.
More than any art, today’s global style conveys both the dreams and delusions of modernity. Foster demonstrates that a study of the “art-architecture complex” provides invaluable insight into broader social and economic trajectories in urgent need of analysis.
While the Pompidou Centre is paying homage to Le Corbusier, a group of historians and writers reminds us that his works were coloured throughout by his totalitarian and fascist views. First published in Le Monde. Translated by David Broder.
From Corbusier's Le Modulor 1.
At the same moment that the Pompidou Centre inaugurated its exhibition on Le Corbusier in April 2015, there appeared three books looking back to the architect’s fascist propensities. Startled as reality suddenly broke through, the organisers decided to refer the question to a conference that would be held in late 2016, as did indeed take place on 23-24 November of this year. However, certain authors very critical of Le Corbusier were not allowed to participate. And anyway, why organise a conference when we need only read the numerous writings of the author of La Ville radieuse to be struck by the constancy of his totalitarian intentions? The conference amounted to nothing more than a sham.
Alas, summer is ending and you need to know your Brecht from your Benjamin quicksharp. Luckily, Verso is here to help, All books on our undergraduate reading list are 50% off — we have your back arts students!