I grew up about twenty minutes away from Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation building in Marseilles, France, originally built between 1947 and 1952 for people who were dislocated after Second World War bombings. A few decades later, it turned into a rather coveted living space. When I was a kid, my friend Vincent lived there. He taught me how to play soccer with a video-game and we would have a lot of slumber parties. To enter the shower in his apartment you had to go though an ellipse shaped hole in the wall, which I thought it was the coolest thing at the time.
Over the weekend, I went to the "Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes" at MoMa. I always find it a bit difficult to see exhibitions about architecture because all you really want to do is to be in the real buildings — but MoMa did a great job at re-creating the interiors of Le Corbusier’s most famous buildings (including Marseille’s Unité d’Habitation).
Le Corbusier was also a painter, he followed the lead of his friend Fernand Léger and exercised in the purist style, a reaction from cubism, in which the actual shapes of the objects are respected in their pure geometry. Whether art or architecture, the search for purity and “truth” was Le Corbusier’s overarching concern, and remained a crucial concept throughout his approach to aesthetics. The show was really thorough in reflecting the depth of his art as well as his work, adding color to this enigmatic figure of design.
"Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes", on now. Exhibtion runs to September 23, 2013.