Le Corbusier - The Art of Architecture

19 February 2009 - 24 May 2009
Art Gallery

£8/£6 concessions
£6 online
Times: Open daily 11am-8pm except Wed 11am-6pm
Open until 10pm every Thu

 Sold out

Le Corbusier (1887-1965), widely acclaimed as the most influential architect of the 20th century, was also a celebrated thinker, writer and artist - a multi-faceted ‘renaissance man’. His architecture and radical ideas for reinventing modern living, from private villas to large scale social housing to utopian urban plans, still resonate today.

Le Corbusier — The Art of Architecture is the first major survey in London of the internationally renowned architect in more than 20 years. This timely reassessment presents a wealth of original architectural models, interior reconstructions, drawings, furniture, vintage photographs, films, tapestries, paintings, sculpture and books by Le Corbusier himself. It also features important works by his collaborators and artistic contemporaries such as Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant.

The exhibition charts how Le Corbusier’s work changed dramatically over the years; from his early houses inspired by the regional vernacular of his native Switzerland, the iconic Purist architecture and interiors for which he is best known, his master plan for Paris in the 1920s, the shift to organic forms in the 1930s, and the dynamic synthesis achieved between his art and architecture as exemplified by his chapel at Ronchamp (1950-55), and his civic buildings in Chandigarh, India (1952-64).

Highlights include a monumental mural painting, Femme et coquillage IV (1948) from his own office at Rues de Sèvres, Paris; a reconstruction of his Plan Voisin for Paris (1925); a complete original kitchen by Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand from his famous Unité d’habitation, Marseille (1947-50); original models of Ronchamp (1950-55), Unité d’habitation (1945-52), Parliament Building Chandigarh (1951-64) amongst others; and the film version of Le Corbusier and Edgard Varèse’s Poème Electronique (1958).

As Europe’s leading arts centre, Barbican’s celebration of Le Corbusier highlights this connection between the arts with a full programme of concerts, films and talks to accompany the exhibition, including a day presented by the BBC Symphony Orchestra dedicated to the composer Iannis Xenakis who worked as an architect in Le Corbusier’s studio. The exhibition also offers a unique opportunity to see the influence of Le Corbusier’s architecture and ideas on the Barbican complex, designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bonn in the late 1950s.

Due to popular demand for Le Corbusier-The Art of Architecture, Barbican Art Gallery is now open until 8pm on Tuesdays*.
(*except Tue 7 Apr & Tue 19 May 09)

This event is part of:
Do Something Different Weekend 10 - Sun
Do Something Different 10 - Sat
Do Something Different 10 for Families
Do Something Different 2009

The exhibition is organised by Vitra Design Museum in collaboration with the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Trust. It is supported by the Liverpool Culture Company as part of the 2008 European Capital of Culture programme.

Barbican and the RIBA Trust are grateful for their generous sponsorship of this exhibition: National Partner: Liverpool Culture Company; National Associates: Duravit, ERCO, Liverpool John Moores University, Shed KM, Sto, Urban Splash; Patron: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Exhibition sponsors: Buro Happold, FalconerChesterHall, Liverpool Architectural Society, Polypipe, and RIBA Charteres Practices and other companies who have become Exhibition Supporters.

Barbican Art Gallery in London presents major exhibitions by leading international figures in the heart of the City of London.


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