Histories of the Immediate Present Inventing Architectural Modernism

ISBN-10: 0262720515

ISBN-13: 9780262720519

Edition: 2008

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Architecture, at least since the beginning of the twentieth century, has suspended historical references in favor of universalized abstraction. In the decades after the Second World War, when architectural historians began to assess the legacy of the avant-gardes in order to construct a coherent narrative of modernism's development, they were inevitably influenced by contemporary concerns. In Histories of the Immediate Present, Anthony Vidler examines the work of four historians of architectural modernism and the ways in which their histories were constructed as more or less overt programs for the theory and practice of design in a contemporary context. Vidler looks at the historical approaches of Emil Kaufmann, Colin Rowe, Reyner Banham, and Manfredo Tafuri, and the specific versions of modernism advanced by their historical narratives. Vidler shows that the modernism conceived by Kaufmann was, like the late Enlightenment projects he revered, one of pure, geometrical forms and elemental composition; that of Rowe saw mannerist ambiguity and complexity in contemporary design; Banham's modernism took its cue from the aspirations of the futurists; and the Renaissance modernism of Tafuri found its source in the division between the technical experimentation of Brunelleschi and the cultural nostalgia of Alberti. Vidler's investigation demonstrates the inevitable collusion between history and design that pervades all modern architectural discourse--and has given rise to some of the most interesting architectural experiments of the postwar period.
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Book details

List price: $30.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 4/18/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 5.37" wide x 8.00" long x 0.44" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Foreword: [Bracket]Ing History
Neoclassical Modernism: Emil Kaufmann
Neoclassicism and Autonomy
From Kant to Le Corbusier
Structural Analysis
From Kaufmann to Johnson and Rossi
Autonomy Revived
Mannerist Modernism: Colin Rowe
An English Palladio
Modern Palladianism
Diagramming Palladio
Inventing Modernism
Mannerism Modern
The End of Modernism
Modernist Mannerism: Stirling
Futurist Modernism: Reyner Banham
Modern Picturesque
Historicism versus Functionalism
Functionalist Modernism
Futurism Redux
Theories and Design
Program, Science, and History
"Une Architecture Autre"
Beyond Architecture: Banham in L A
Renaissance Modernism: Manfredo Tafuri
Architect and Historian
Revising History
The Eclipse and Rise of History
Ideology and Utopia
Postmodern or Posthistoire?
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