Reconstruction and the Synthesis of the Arts in France, 1944–1962 considers the artistic, architectural and bureaucratic shifts that emerged in the troubled aftermath of World War II and in the first years of the cold war. Focused on the modernist networks surrounding Le Corbusier, the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Groupe Espace, as well as on more radical, neo-avant-garde groups such as the Situationist International, this book casts new light on various artistic collaborations amid the French rebuilding efforts. It asks a series of critical questions: How did the synthesis of the arts discourse lead to a rethinking of the aesthetics of public space in postwar France? How did it participate in the physical reconstruction and modernization of French towns? How can we map the active, interdisciplinary cooperation between French artists, architects and designers on to the new economic challenges and the political unrest that emerged amid the Marshall Plan? Did French artists who called for a synthesis of modern art to architecture develop collaborative practices conducive to new forms of spectator engagement and public address? Finally, how was the avant-garde language of abstraction and polychromy re-envisioned in the context of advanced capitalism, and in what ways was it complicit with, or resistant to, various governmental, corporate and industrial projects?
Table of Contents
1. Le Corbusier’s "Épopée Plastique" and French Nation Building
2. Art as Social Service: Groupe Espace and French Technocratic Culture
3. Experimental Desire: Asger Jorn and the Network of "Free Artists"
About the Series
Ashgate Studies in Architecture
The discipline of Architecture is undergoing subtle transformation as design awareness permeates our visually dominated culture. Technological change, the search for sustainability and debates around the value of place and meaning of the architectural gesture are aspects which will affect the cities we inhabit. This series seeks to address such topics, both theoretically and in practice, through the publication of high quality original research, written and visual. Topics to be covered include the following: Architectural history and theory and their relationship to the development of the discipline, building conservation, heritage and creative adaptation. The formal and aesthetic values of architectural design, the diversity of its expression of identity, and its representation in other media. The impact of technological innovation on the materialisation of architecture and the questions surrounding environmental sustainability, experimentation and visionary design The social and psychological context of architectural production, its relationship to occupants, clients and to other creative and professional disciplines, and the political situation in which it is commissioned. Proposals will be welcomed which explore or connect aspects of these themes. Subjects which deal with individual architects, with specific buildings or building types, and the critical interpretation of historical and contemporary architecture from a theoretical or philosophical perspective are particularly encouraged. Architecture's embodiment of technical, social, and aesthetic aspects will also be emphasised.
BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
- ARCHITECTURE / General