Friday, April 24, 2009

toward an understanding

Despite Le Corbusier's interest in theory, his discourses were anything but cerebral abstractions, and conveyed a vigorous physicality thanks to the method through which he illustrated his thoughts. His visual aids were low-tech yet high-impact.

On the wall behind him, the architect would unroll and pin up a swath of yellow tracing paper as wide as a movie screen. While he spoke, he used varicolored chalks or crayons and sketched a profusion of pictograms, scrawled a welter of catchphrases, and ended up with a dense calligraphic mural like a Cy Twombly drawing avant la lettre.

Many such Corbusier lecture backdrops survive, intact or in tatters, thanks to souvenir hunters who swooped in and claimed them the second he exited the stage.

From Maman's Boy by Martin Filler in the 30 April issue of the New York Review of Books.

NYC - MOMA - Le Corbusier's Urban Planning for Algiers
Originally uploaded by wallyg


Lolabola* said...

I just started hyperventilating

suttonhoo said...

big le corbusier fan? you'll want to pick up the paper edition then: there's a picture of him naked.

Lolabola* said...

too much! too much!

It's actually the thought of someone illustrating a lecture in that way. how fantastic!

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