Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
From Minimalism to post modernism was a large jump for most architects, painters, and designers. However it was also a time to explore color, material, and form. That is what I think the painting Les Constructeurs by Fernard Leger is about. Leger painted this right around the prime of minimalism in 1955. I truly think it depicts the transformation between that mindset of less is more to exploratory views on the arts. For the early 19th century modernism design was not so much about materiality and color and how the two can transform a building or space, but rather was about “the machine” and how that could define that time period. Walter Gropius was one of the founders of the Bauhaus School of Design and he felt that architecture had to be more “socially progressive and responsive to modern needs in industrial design and housing.” (Roth, p.522) He once wrote a description of the Bauhaus program, and he stated, “ The Bauhaus believes the machine to be our modern medium of design and seeks to come to term with it.” Him and many architects of that time believed the same values, but others felt that modern design was too dry and simple and lacked substance. Critics of Minimalism said, “The earnest social utopianism of the original modernism was abandoned, replaced after 1945 by a bland, standardized aesthetic, sleek, machine-like, stripped of traditional ornament.” (Roth, p.567) To combat that architects took a leap of faith into restoring some classical ideas of materiality, color, and form. Venturi, a prominent architect in the late 20th century challenged minimalist architects. He argued, “ was how to create a modern architecture that drew from the structure and materials that advanced modernists had achieved in the early part of the 20th century, while also incorporating ornament and visual references to past, to local tradition, to social practice, and to the users’ received conventional sensibilities.” This quote seems to sum up the painting that I diagramed. It was a challenge to artists to stop using simple techniques and start pushing the envelope to newer more thoughtful compositions, and that is what my diagram depicts. It is a progression from very minimalist to the beginnings of post modernism frame of design.