Play Architecture with the Painter

Daily Draw June 22nd, 2012


I am not a fan of Le Corbusier, whose real name is Charles-Edouard Jeanneret. He is quite famous and was a big influence on others, much lauded and worshipped for his theories and practice, but I find his architectural designs unattractive and impractical, and his views about urban planning not conducive to the idea of community as it naturally happens in cities among humans. His was an imposed community, a machination of theory and not much to do with real people. I have never understood the fuss over him. He must have been a charismatic person who had a great personality and charm because for me he isn’t that talented.

The Villa Savoye is the only design of his I like; his work deteriorated after this. This has a lovely roof top garden and interior. If you are interested, you can see more pictures on the Web.

He designed furniture too and the famous advertisement for Maxell in 1978 with the man being blown away features a Le Corbusier chair. Most of us will remember this one.

Le Corbusier liked cubism but objected to the mish-mash that cubism eventually became and preferred what he called “purism” with less ornate structure and architectural simplicity. So he said. Looking at his early paintings I can see his architecture, but I don’t see much difference from Picasso’s cubism in many of the later ones. I still love them, he had a large mural in his office that is wonderful. Imagine looking at this glorious piece of art all day?

The painting below and the one I used as a background to the playing card, are reminiscent of Giorgio de Chirico in both shapes and colour palette. Largely forgotten today, Giorgio was a big influence in the early part of the twentieth century. The card background in my first image is the Jeanneret painting Still Life, done in 1920. It measures approximately 32 x 39 inches and now hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

More cubism…

So that’s my truncated examination of Le Corbusier. Love him or hate him his influence is ubiquitous. There are many photographs and examples of his work online.

I wish he’d stuck with painting as a career.




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