Critical consensuses change, but the canon crystallized around Wright, Mies, Le Corbusier, Aalto, and Kahn as five essential exponents of modernity is likely to hold for a time. To be sure, Frank Lloyd Wright has often been more a part of 19th than of 20th-century winds, and it is hard not to see Louis Kahn in the transition towards postmodernity, but the showdown between Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier is the fuel of the modern revolution, and Alvar Aalto provides the indispensable organic accent. The legacy of the five masters remains strong in the 21st century, and this book tries to present it through a bunch of texts – triggered by their centenaries, the exhibitions that have sparked a revision of their work, or the books have enriched our knowledge of their lives and oeuvre – that together aim to give us an introduction, in fragments, to the great intellectual and artistic adventure of the avant-gardes.
Collection ‘Maestros’, 2021
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