The new ‘Retratos’ series – published by Arquitectura Viva in Spanish only – compiles texts that Luis Fernández-Galiano has written on the life and work of a selection of contemporary architects. Koolhaas surrealista is the third title out, after those devoted to Rafael Moneo and Norman Foster, and the rest – on Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry, Herzog & de Meuron, Peter Eisenman, and Santiago Calatrava – will likewise soon be seeing the light, in succession. Illustrated with the architects’ own drawings and enriched with in-depth interviews, biographical accounts, and analyses of their works, these small books try to offer pixelated portraits of current masters, informative and critical at the same time.
The book Koolhaas surrealista – 96 pages in soft cover – gathers seventeen essays on the work and figure of Rem Koolhaas. The collection of articles on the architect from Rotterdam begins with ‘Cadaver exquisito,’ which looks at both his surrealist impulses and the disjointed nature of his trajectory, where books and exhibitions have been the markers of intellectual and formal ruptures. Commentary on his publications – from the pioneering Delirious New York or the bestselling S,M,L,XL to Pearl River Delta, Content, or Elements – is interspersed with critique on his buildings and projects – the Casa da Música in Porto, the Guggenheim of Las Vegas, the Prada stores, the library in Seattle, and the schemes for the city of Córdoba or Ground Zero in New York – and it is not clear which are more important in defining Koolhaas’s conceptual and aesthetic itinerary. His retour à l’ordre with the major exhibition at the Venice Biennale suggests a new turn in his dazzling, provocative, and paradoxical career, and this is analyzed in detail in the extensive text that closes the volume.
Collection 'Retratos', 2021
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