A New Corbusier-Inspired Exhibition Opens to Coincide with the 50th Anniversary of His Death

Heidi Wood, You Win Some, You Lose Some, part of the series Serving Suggestion (2001)
Photo:Courtesy of Galerie Anne Barrault

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the death of Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, or Le Corbusier as he was more familiarly known, a new exhibition has opened at Paris’s La Maison Roche.

The show, “Re-Corbusier,” explores the influence that the Modernist Swiss architect had on art and architecture and serves as a counterpoint to a career survey that will open at the Centre Pompidou at the end of the month.

On display are 16 paintings, sculptures, and installations by mostly contemporary artists including Tom Sachs, Ryan Gander, James Angus, Michel Aubry, Blaise Drummond, Rita McBride, Olaf Nicolai, Jorge Pardo, Evariste Richer, Simon Starling, Heidi Wood, and Pierre Bismuth (see The Quest for Ed Ruscha’s Secret Artwork Inspires a Film). But viewers will also find a 1930 canvas by the late English artist Christopher Wood—one of the earliest artistic depictions of Le Corbusier’s buildings.

Sachs turns a model of the Villa Savoye, an iconic building outside Paris, into a drive-in, with McDonald’s golden arches resting on top of a tattered foam core sculpture. Bismuth presents a rug composed of patches of the architect’s signature color meant to evoke Le Corbusier’s use of Modular proportions in space, while Michel Aubry weaves an image of a Le Corbusier building meshed into a indigenous Afghan rug.

Olaf Nicolai and Jorge Pardo play with Le Corbusier’s iconic chair designs; Nicolai shrouds an LC4 in a Red Cross blanket, while Pardo strips the padding and functionality of the LC2 armchair, leaving only its skeleton.

The exhibition had to be curated and organized in a specific way, taking in the layout of the peculiar building in mind. Nothing is affixed to the walls or floors due to the electrical wiring of the building so signs are propped up against walls, reports T Magazine. The Corbusier-designed building was commissioned by Swiss banker and art collector, Raoul La Roche, to house his collection of Picassos, Légers, and Braques. Now, the building serves as a museum housing 8,000 drawings, studies and plans by Le Corbusier, as well as around 450 paintings, 30 sculptures, and 200 works on paper.

Re-Corbusier” is on view at Maison La Roche, Villa Jeanneret, Paris from April 1–July 6.


Blaise Drummond, Towards a Unified Theory of Everything (2004,). Photo: Courtesy of the Irish Museum of Art

Blaise Drummond, Towards a Unified Theory of Everything (2004,)
. Photo: Courtesy of the Irish Museum of Art

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