Author(s): Jean-Louis Cohen
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, had an unparalleled influence on the design, function, and construction of twentieth-century buildings, both public and residential. In addition, he was an artist and designer-an aspect of his creativity which was somewhat eclipsed by his architectural renown. Le Corbusier had originally intended to be a painter and his early studies were primarily focused on art and decoration. For more than five decades, Le Corbusier oscillated between contradictory poles: his fascination with mechanical objects on the one hand, and his search for poetic form on the other. The intermingling of his more private aesthetic pursuits and his more public works took place in his "secret laboratory," inside his artist's studio. This volume consolidates the diverse facets of his oeuvre, offering a more complete understanding of his paintings, drawings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, architectural sketches and plans-as well as his books and photographs. In tying together these disparate strands, we gain greater insight into the path of his overall creative evolution. This unified overview is revealing both for scholars of Le Corbusier's work and for all those seeking a better understanding of this exceptionally talented and significant historical figure. The book's five chapters cover a wide spectrum, ranging from the purist paintings and early villas to Le Corbusier's later reinterpretation of his values and his final works.
Perhaps the most important visionary of modern architecture, the Swiss-born Le Corbusier (1887-1965) broke new ground in re-imagining residences, workplaces and urban environments-aiming to provide an enhanced quality of life for all-especially for the poorer classes. Prolific and an enthusiastic traveler, his work can be found at locations throughout Europe, India and America.