Auf der Suche nach einer Theorie der Architektur Band 21 – Wim de Wit
I think it is safe to say that the paradigmatic narrative of mid-20th-century Modernism in architecture was shaped by the work of those with whom the International Style has been identified ever since the Museum of Modern Art exhibition of that name, curated by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock in 1932.
Indeed, the work of two of those figures, Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, not only defined architectural discourse during the period but it was the commercial proliferation of their once utopian vision that helped to insure that modernism itself would be misunderstood as narrow, parochial, and resistant to complexity or contradiction, to invoke a famous line of post-modern critique. The work of Bernard Rudofsky departs significantly from this oversimplified view of modernism, contributing a much more nuanced, textured model that enables us to understand that modernism itself was far more complex, contradictory, and just plain interesting than we have heretofore understood to be the case.
In fact, Bernard Rudofsky’s work, both built and written, presents a considerable challenge to anyone who engages with it. Just how the various parts of his oeuvre relate to one another is not always easy to understand; anyone who takes only a quick glance at his work may come away thinking that it is full of contradictions. For example, early in his career, Rudofsky built some very beautiful houses in a modernist formal vocabulary in Italy and Brazil, but his writings could be read as rejections of modernism ... (Excerpt)