The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, December 22, 2014


Nazi Praise Sparks Switzerland's Rethink of Modernist Architect Le Corbusier
Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier sits in his office in Paris. Le Corbusier's legacy faces a tense re-examination in his home nation after Switzerland's largest bank dropped an ad campaign featuring the modernist pioneer earlier this week. The debate has nothing to do with aesthetics and focuses solely on politics. Letters made public in recent years and a 2008 biography suggest that the architect was a sympathizer of Hitler's Nazi regime whose Fascist tendencies went far beyond what was previously known. His real name was Charles Edouard Jeanneret. AP Photo.

By: Bradley S. Klapper, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA (AP).- He's one of the titans of 20th Century architecture, but Le Corbusier is suddenly feeling the weight of history working against him.

The modernist master's legacy is coming under pressure after Switzerland's largest bank dropped an ad campaign featuring the architect and artist last week. Now, Zurich authorities are debating whether to dump plans to name a square after him.

Letters made public in recent years and a 2008 biography suggest that the visionary known for his cool, spare designs and revolutionary urban planning ideas was a Nazi sympathizer whose Fascist tendencies went far beyond what was previously known.

One letter shows Le Corbusier expressing clear enthusiasm for Hitler, even if at other times he calls the German leader a "monster."

"If he is serious in his declarations, Hitler can crown his life with a magnificent work: the remaking of Europe," Le Corbusier wrote to his mother in October 1940, at a time when he was shopping his radical ideas about urbanism across the continent. That was also shortly after Hitler's armies conquered France and much of Western Europe.

It's been a tough week in Switzerland for the artist born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, who died in 1965 after helping to create an international modern architecture movement along with giants such as American Frank Lloyd Wright and German Bauhaus innovators Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe.

The revelations are not completely surprising, as it has long been known that Le Corbusier aligned himself with the French far-right in the 1930s and accepted a post as a city planner for the Vichy regime that ruled France and collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II.

What is perhaps most noteworthy is the sudden Swiss rejection of a native son — born in the sleepy town of La Chaux-de-Fonds — whose face appears on the 10-franc bill. His name graces a square in the capital of Bern and a street in Geneva.

"For UBS, the most important thing in our campaign is the message we wish to communicate," said Jean-Raphael Fontannaz, a spokesman for the Zurich-based banking giant. "We don't want the message to be lost in a discussion about Le Corbusier. We also don't wish to hurt the feelings of anyone."

Fontannaz said UBS AG used Le Corbusier in an advertising drive that began in August. It dropped the artist last week.

UBS' decision came after protests from Jewish groups and publishers in Switzerland, who accused Le Corbusier of being an anti-Semite. The accusation hit a raw nerve with a bank that suffered a crisis in the 1990s over revelations that it prevented Jewish claimants from accessing Holocaust-era accounts belonging to their ancestors. The row resulted in a $1.25 billion settlement.

"It's incomprehensible that UBS chose Le Corbusier as an exemplary Swiss personality," Vreni Mueller-Hemmi, head of the Swiss-Israel Society, told the weekly SonntagsZeitung. The group's vice president, Lukas Weber, told The Associated Press that he was pleased with UBS' decision.

Zurich authorities decided three years ago to name a square next to the central train station after Le Corbusier once construction was completed. But authorities now say they are taking another look at the historical record. A decision will be made at a meeting of the city's street-naming commission next month, said spokeswoman Charlotte de Koch.

Le Corbusier left an enormous body of work, including some 30,000 architectural plans, 7,000 watercolor paintings, 500 oil paintings and 52 books. He was perhaps as famous for his philosophy of architecture as for actual works. Among his most famous structures are the Villa Savoye near Paris, the Punjab government complex at Chandigarh, India, the Unite d'Habitation apartment block in Marseille and Notre-Dame-du-Haut chapel in Ronchamp, France.

Despite the recent controversies, Le Corbusier still has Swiss defenders.

"It's a different issue if you make a publicity campaign," said Werner Abegg, spokesman for the money-printing national bank. "The bank note highlights essentially the influence of a person. It's uncontested in the case of Le Corbusier."

Abegg told the AP that the bank had no plans to change its currency.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Le Corbusier | Nazi | 20th Century Architecture | Geneva |




Today's News

October 7, 2010

After More than 20 Years, Michelangelo's Most Precious Drawings at Albertina in Vienna

$250,000 First-Place Prize Goes to Grand Rapids , Michigan Artist Chris LaPorte

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Claims Painting is by Rembrandt Not His Pupil

Turning a New Leaf, Jerry Hall to Shed Her Art Collection Next Week at Sotheby's

15th Art Forum Berlin Opens the Autumn Season of the European Art Shows

Major Exhibition Explores the Mastery of Moshe Safdie and a Lifetime of Architectural Achievements

Tracey Emin Work to Be Auctioned during Frieze in Aid of Margates Turner Contemporary

Qing Dynasty Vase Smashes World Record in Glowing China Art Sales at Sotheby's

Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris Exhibition by Larry Clark Barred to Minors

European Auction Record for an Allosauraus Dinosaur, the T-Rex of the Jurassic Period

The Crosby Garrett Helmet, Found by a Metal Detectorist, Sells for $3.6 Million at Christie's

Important Works by Andy Warhol from the Shapazian Collection Go to the Huntington

Two Outstanding Beach Scenes by Sorolla are the Highlights of Sotheby's 19th Century European Paintings Sale

Swedish Museum Unaware of Theft of Munch Painting

Gold and Gem Encrusted Tiger Head from Throne of Tipu Sultan Sells for £434,400 at Bonhams

Woman Accused of Damaging Controversial Artwork in Colorado

First Major United Kingdom Exhibition by Swedish Artist Klara Lidén at Serpentine Gallery

First NYC Museum Exhibition on the Tradition of Spanish Draftsmanship Opens at the Frick Collection

Smithsonian Announces Archives of American Art Medal Recipients

Christie's Announces Sale of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design, Autumn 2010

Magnificent and Rare Collection of Mezzotints Acquired by the Art Fund for the British Museum

First Exhibition in 45 Years Devoted to Renaissance Master Jan Gossart on View at Metropolitan Museum

Sotheby's First-Ever Evening Sale of Islamic Art Realises £7 Million - Well Above Pre-Sale Expectations

Damien Hirst Fills the Paul Stolper Gallery with 120 Framed, Foilblock Butterfly Prints

Record Number of Visitors this Summer for the United Kingdom's National Museums

Biennale of Sydney Announces Joint Artistic Directors for 2012: Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster

DeCordova Announces the Rappaport Endowment Fund and the Winner of the 11th Rappaport Prize

Judd Foundation Announces It will Now Be Represented Exclusively by David Zwirner

Preserved Feathers and Scales of a Giant Penguin Fossil Gives Evolutionary Clues

Tiny Footprints from Poland Show that First Dinosaurs Walked on Little Cat Feet

Nazi Praise Sparks Switzerland's Rethink of Modernist Architect Le Corbusier

Robert F. Kennedy-Owned Emancipation Proclamation Up for Auction

France 1500: Between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance at the Galeries nationales Grand Palais

Sotheby's Islamic Art Sales Series Achieves Record Sum of £25.3 ($40.3) Million

Completely Renewed, the National Museum of Cultures to Be Reopened

Teotihuacan's Emblematic Monument, The Sun Pyramid, Still an Enigma for Archaeologists

National Archives in Washington Puts Nazi Papers, The Nuremberg Laws, on Public View

Cornerstone Laid for John Paul II Museum in Poland

Christie's to Offer 69 Important Works of Art from the Collection of Robert Shapazian

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach

Related Stories



Nazi Praise Sparks Switzerland's Rethink of Modernist Architect Le Corbusier



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site