This video is about Le Corbusier.
Le Corbusier is the artists’ name for Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (1887-1965), born in Switzerland.
Le Corbusier is by far the most famous and according to many the most important architect and urban designer of the twentieth century. But he was also a painter, sculptor, photographer and textile designer. Although the oeuvre of Le Corbusier is well known to many, the last major retrospective was in 1987. In this exhibition the NAI is presenting his complete oeuvre in original material for the first time in history. While Rotterdam in this period will be in the grip of the third International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam on the theme of Power, the NAI will show more than 450 original drawings, models, paintings, tapestries, films, photographs, sculptures, items of furniture and interiors to demonstrate the strength and influence – in short, the Power – of Le Corbusier.
Le Corbusier wrote poems as well, some of which are at this exhibition; and wrote scripts for films, clips of which are also at the exhibition.
Though maybe ‘the most important architect and urban designer of the twentieth century’, Le Corbusier’s influence was often more indirect, through influence on others, than direct.
In the 1930s economical crisis and 1940s World War, those with economical and political power gave him few opportunities to build. Then, he spent most time at painting, sculpture, furniture designing, etc.
He preferred building complete cities, but basically got just one chance ever in his life to do that: Chandigarh, the new capital of the Indian part of Punjab.
Le Corbusier did not have very prominent views on the political and ideological contradictions of the twentieth century. He worked for the capitalists of Philips corporation and for Soviet Union communists; for Christian churches and non Christians; for colonialists in 1930s French Algeria and for anti colonialists in post 1947 independent India.
Originally, he had been influenced by British socialist architect and many other things, William Morris. One might say that, in one sense, that influence remained; in the sense of linking architecture with many other forms of art.
The exhibition deals with many aspects of Le Corbusier’s life and work. Including works by artists with connections to Le Corbusier, like Ferdinand Léger and Juan Gris. It was a pity that not all objects a the exhibition had explanations with them. And that the letters of the explanations were a bit small. Nevertheless, an interesting exhibition.
On my way back to Rotterdam Central Station, I saw the Egyptian goose near the water again. Close to sculptures there by well known sculptors, including Auguste Rodin.
From the train north of The Hague, a white stork in a meadow.
An interview with Richard Pare, co-author and photographer of The Lost Vanguard: Russian Modernist Architecture, 1922-1932: here.