Weekend outing: Le Corbusier at SFMOMA
June 15–September 23, 2013
Great piece about modern Brazil architecture and Le Cobusier...
A year later, 1929, Le Corbusier first visited Rio de Janeiro. The conditions he found were not promising. As fascinating as Brazil was for him, it was also at that moment an isolated and provincial culture, only 17 million in population, mostly rural, and socially backward. What high culture existed was imported from Europe. As Lauro Cavalcanti has noted, the fact that Le Corbusier spoke only French on his Rio visits –apparently without interpretation – meant that his audience was limited to a highly educated, middle class. It seems that the audience for his 1929 talks in Rio numbered as few as ten, mostly the architects (Costa,Niemeyer, et al.) with whom he would go on to collaborate. Even then, Costa recalled dropping in on one of the lectures and leaving again, not really having paid much attention. In the mid-1920s there were only eleven subscriptions in the whole of Brazil to L’Esprit nouveau, edited by Le Corbusier and Amedée Ozenfant, a journal usually considered vital for the development of Modernism. The great Brazilian historian Sérgio Buarque de Holanda complained that Brazil’s culture was just ‘grafted’ from elsewhere: ‘this means that a false tradition has arisen which doesn’t stop short of prolonging foreign traditions . . . what we need to is to find our own way’. --- Modern Brazil Architecture, read more here