“Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes,”
newly installed at the Museum of Modern Art, is really two exhibitions. It’s on the one hand a sprawling introduction to the life and work of this Swiss-born giant, on a scale that MoMA, hard though it may be to believe, has never previously organized. A little pruning might have helped. Hypnotic videos sometimes get noisy, distractingly so. But as an omnibus, long overdue, the show is riveting, fun, a landmark.
At the same time it makes an extended and tendentious argument, defying conventional wisdom and in some cases basic logic, that Le Corbusier, the Cartesian aesthete, maker of “machines for living in,” celebrant of automobiles, biplanes and what he called the “White World,” was in fact an architect “profoundly rooted in nature and landscape,” as the opening text panel to the exhibition announces.
First things first: the show’s curators, Jean-Louis Cohen and Barry Bergdoll, have marshaled hundreds of drawings, watercolors, paintings, models and films, a cornucopia gleaned to a large extent from the Fondation Le Corbusier. Read more here