Critical consensuses change, but the crystallized canon formed around Wright, Mies, Le Corbusier, Aalto, and Kahn as five essential leaders of modernity is probably here to stay for a time. Of course Frank Lloyd Wright has often been held to breathe more of the 19th than the 20th century, and Louis Kahn is inevitably seen in the transition to postmodernity, but the contest between Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier is the fuel of the modern revolution, and Alvar Aalto introduces the indispensable organic accent. The legacy of the five masters remains strong in the 21st century, and here we try a new approach to them through a series of texts – prompted by their centenaries, by exhibitions that have subjected their oeuvres to a revision, or by publications that have enriched our knowledge of their lives and works – that together aim to offer an introduction, in fragments, to the great intellectual and artistic adventure of the avant-gardes.
Collection ‘Maestros’, 2021
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