Le Corbusier Le Grand
is an enormous and enormously appealing monograph on one of the greatest and most controversial visionaries of the twentieth century: Le Corbusier (1887-1965). Publisher Phaidon's super-sized volume features thousands of stunning photographs of the seminal architect, his buildings and plans, writings, and related documents (sketchbooks, personal snapshots, even postcards). With the turn of each page, readers can follow Corbusier's trajectory from revolutionary young artist and prolific writer to globe-trotting, celebrity-crusader for modern architecture and urban planning. Esteemed architectural historian and Corbusier expert Jean-Louis Cohen provides an elegant introductory essay to this veritable archive of images. We learn that although the Swiss-born Le Corbusier hailed from a small town in a small country under the modest name Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, he was destined for greatness--largely of his own design. A prime mover behind the International Style (perhaps the first truly global architectural-design language), Corbusier brought modern design principles and their promise of improved living standards to the world stage. Futuristic high rise apartment complexes, office towers, highly functional streamlined interiors and furniture made primarily of industrial materials may all be attributed in part to him and his controversial utopian mission to transform our daily lives into a highly functional and beautiful system. Le Corbusier Le Grand
is an extravagant, yet essential tome for libraries, those interested in modernism, city planning, and especially those with a really big coffee table. --Lauren Nemroff
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This slip-cased, oversized book, weighing 20 pounds and containsing over 2000 illustrations, summarizes the life and work of the most important modern architect of the 20th century: the legendary, controversial, and confrontational Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier was not exclusively an architect but an artist (painter and sculptor), urbanist, author, furniture designer, world traveler, and media figure. What is most impressive in this volume are the huge-scale photographs drawn from the Le Corbusier archives at the Fondation Le Corbusier in France. These photographs are personal, professional, indicative, anecdotal, illustrative, and symbolic of the entire saga of Le Corbusier's life and career over 60 years. They make this book an absolute gold mine for anyone wanting to understand and steep themselves in the spirit and character of this greatest modern architect of the last century. The written material is also first-rate: Jean-Louis Cohen, France's best-known historian of modern architecture, contributes an informative introduction, and Tim Benton, a well-known British architectural historian, writes opening texts for individual chapters. Recommended for architecture and art libraries as well as public libraries with serious art collections.—Peter S. Kaufman, Boston Architectural Ctr.
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