Message - Re: when did modernity end in 2othcentury?

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Posted by  John DeFazio on November 19, 2002 at 06:01:17:

In Reply to:  when did modernity end in 2othcentury? posted by domenico LeoVinci on November 18, 2002 at 13:45:12:

Art and Architectural history and theory doesn't stop and start on a dime. Ideas emerge are taken up by others and become superseded or subsumed by other ideas through time. Modernism is an idea that grew out of issues and hopes of the 19th C but did not come to full cultural stride until after WWII.

About 1960, artists and architects as well as philosophers started to question the "Modernist Program" (i.e.: ever expanding social Progress, through Technology, Rationalism, and Objective Abstraction) and we entered into the Post Modern period that we are still in. But modern architecture was never monolithic as described in your history books... and never fully ended either. Rather than one "Modern" there was (and still is) a succession of modernism's (expressionism, Cubism, futurism, surrealism, international style, organic, hi-tech, deconstructionist, etc.) and many aspects of these movements are still developed today in "Neo-Modernist" architect's work today. The work of what is that usually thought of as Post-Modern (historical, symbolic, figurative, neo traditional) can also be seen as part of the same succession of modernisms, but one that is questioning the aspects of the Modern Program as it embraces a modern means of building.

One way to keep things straight is to think in terms of buildings rather that in movements. Louis Kahn in his incredible concrete manner said, " there is no Architecture, only works of Architecture." What he meant it is the work that holds the idea, not anything external to it; and it is the work that persists through time.

Buildings teach and inspire architects of what architecture is about. Movements, like Modernism, are embodied in a quick succession of works that are dealing with the same or similar set of issues. Often the architects are looking over each other shoulders, (at works by other architects), learning and building upon what they see, seeking to push "the envelope" even further. But it is only the Buildings that remains behind, and they may well inspire architects of other generations in whole new ways other than the original architects, or even the original Movement, ever intended or imagined.

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