Architect, sculptor, painter and a brilliant thinker of his time, the creator of an architecture based on social needs, one of the fathers of modern town planning and a master of the Modern Movement: Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier. MAXXI Architecture is focussing on this figure with the exhibition L’Italia di Le Corbusier.
320 original documents and 300 photographs for an exhibition that presents the influence of Italy on the training and work of the master: from the first trips early in the 20th Century to the unbuilt projects for the Olivetti Electronic Calculation centre at Rho and the hospital in Venice from the 1960s.
Following a chronological and thematic structure, the exhibition is beginning with the four successive trips to the country, in the years between 1907 and 1923, as Le Corbusier sought an understanding of firstly the physiognomy of the great artistic cultures – from late antiquity to the Renaissance – and then the constructional spirit of the Roman civilization.
It will then feature the planning research conducted by Le Corbusier in the Thirties and his relative attempts to introduce his ideas to the contemporary city by seeking a commission in Italy through Mussolini in his role as the authority actively founding new towns. His frantic search for a patron also resulted in his contacts with FIAT and Adriano Olivetti, expressions of an expanding and extremely modern industrial sector.
Particular attention will be paid to the figure of Le Corbusier the painter, the episode of the journal L’Esprit Nouveau which he directed together with the Purist painter Amedeé Ozenfant between 1920 and 1925, and the relationships with Italian periodicals and the dispute between Purism and metaphysics. These themes represent an opportunity to exhibit Le Corbusier’s paintings from the Purism period alongside others by Carlo Carrà, Giorgio Morandi and Gino Severini.
Now enjoying international repute, Le Corbusier returned to Italy on a number of occasions after the Second World War: to Bergamo on the occasion of the VII CIAM (1949), as a guest of the Milan Triennale for the conference De Divina et Humana Proportione (1951), to Venice for the International Conference of Artists and the CIAM summer school (1952), to Turin (1961) and to Florence where in 1963 the first major Italian exhibition of his work was staged in 1963.
Lastly, the exhibition will also feature the two most important projects that saw Le Corbusier working in Italy after the war, the new hospital in Venice and the Olivetti Electronic Calculation Centre at Rho, both left unbuilt due to the architect’s death in 1965. The two projects represent important examples of the architectural poetic of Le Corbusier’s later career, rendered particularly vivid by original drawings and models. A wealth of photographic material will accompany each section of the exhibition, offering an integrated reading of an elusive side to Le Corbusier, that is, the man behind his every artistic or architectural project.
L’ITALIA DI LE CORBUSIER
18 October 2012 – 17 February 2013
Comisariado: Marida Talamona
Comité Académico: Barbara Cinelli, Giorgio Ciucci, Jean-Louis Cohen, Benedetto Gravagnuolo, Giuliano Gresleri, Francesco Passanti, Marida Talamona, Stanislaus von Moos.
Fondation Le Corbusier
MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts ∙ Via Guido Reni 4A – 00196 Rome ∙ t +39 06 3225178 ∙ © 2002- 2012 Fondazione MAXXI