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Adolf Loos - A Private Portrait (English and German Edition) Hardcover – January 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Claire Beck Loos, a gifted photographer and writer, ... reveals much about her ex-husband's mercurial persona in a series of conversationally-toned vignettes such as Josephine Baker Dances in Vienna, Shimmering Fish, and At the Nudist Bathhouse. Some are amusing, some poignant, some portentous of the darkness soon to envelope Europe. Though Claire Loos' reminiscences are without rancor, she asserts Adolf could be a tyrant as much as a vibrant genius. ... Claire died tragically at 38, at the Riga concentration camp; her memoir thus becomes a haunting tribute not only to Adolf Loos' talents, but to her own. --Judy Polan, book review - Modernism Magazine Fall 2012

Claire Loos ... published a little book in 1936, Adolf Loos Privat, a series of telling vignettes about Loos and their all too brief life together.... Each is titled and relates a brief story about some moment or exchange in Loos' life of those years, episodes in nearly every instance that Claire Loos witnessed in person. Most of the chapters fall into one of several categories. Among these are incidents that underline Loos' ideas.... There are also chapters that illustrate well Loos' character, his insouciance in matters of money..., his often gruff manner with those around him... [and] his intransigence in questions of design.... What makes the book most valuable is the fine-grained portrait it provides us of Loos' last years, of his activities and his preoccupations.... The English translation of her book, made by Constance C. Pontasch, is fluent and accurate, conveying well the tone of Claire Loos' original (which, in turn, to some extent mimics Loos' own writing style). Paterson's introduction and afterword, along with some forty previously unpublished family photographs, add to the story and help flesh it out. It is a richly informative, if sad, tale, and, in Claire's telling, undoubtedly a very largely truthful one. --Christopher Long, Professor University of Texas, Austin: West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture --Christopher Long, Professor University of Texas, Austin: West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture

--Nicole Stock, Editor for Urbis architecture magazine, New Zealand

Claire [Beck Loos] writes about her husband's colorful life and mercurial moods; his relationships with clients; his strange ways with money and friends and doctors; the time he bought up all the tickets to Schoenberg's "Gurrelieder" and handed them out on a street corner. Her book reveals a sharp eye for capturing personality, story and zeitgeist. --Stewart Oksenhorn, Arts Editor, Aspen Times

Short tales of an afternoon or a conversation, make this [book] unique.... You get a very clear sense of who Loos was as a person, or at least how Claire remembers him: an eccentric who flits between intense joy and fury, generous to a fault, unafraid to disagree intensely with a client, full of quips and contradictory ways of seeing the world. It is indeed a personal portrait, and a surprising, quite wonderful little book. --Nicole Stock, Editor for Urbis architecture magazine, New Zealand

About the Author

Claire Beck Loos was a photographer and writer, born in 1904 in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. Her immediate and extended families were Jewish industrialists and significant early clients of Loos. Claire studied at the well-respected Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna. Her photographic works of Loos are collected in museums including the Wien Museum and the Albertina. In 2012-2013 her work was included in the exhibition Vienna's Shooting Girls: Jewish Women Photographers at the Vienna Jewish Museum.
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Adolf Loos - A Private Portrait (English and German Edition)
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