|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Thursday, July 28, 2016
|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.
October 6, 2010
For the First Time Ever, The Museo del Prado Exhibits Treasures from Its Library
Preserved Feathers and Scales of a Giant Penguin Fossil Gives Evolutionary Clues
Damien Hirst Fills the Paul Stolper Gallery with 120 Framed, Foilblock Butterfly Prints
First Exhibition in 45 Years Devoted to Renaissance Master Jan Gossart on View at Metropolitan Museum
Tiny Footprints from Poland Show that First Dinosaurs Walked on Little Cat Feet
Magnificent and Rare Collection of Mezzotints Acquired by the Art Fund for the British Museum
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
Robert F. Kennedy-Owned Emancipation Proclamation Up for Auction
Nazi Praise Sparks Switzerland's Rethink of Modernist Architect Le Corbusier
Judd Foundation Announces It will Now Be Represented Exclusively by David Zwirner
Teotihuacan's Emblematic Monument, The Sun Pyramid, Still an Enigma for Archaeologists
£769,250 Achieved at Sotheby's for Rediscovered Paintings Depicting Tipu Sultan's Victory over the British
DeCordova Announces the Rappaport Endowment Fund and the Winner of the 11th Rappaport Prize
Completely Renewed, the National Museum of Cultures to Be Reopened
France 1500: Between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance at the Galeries nationales Grand Palais
New Work by Turner Prize Nominated Artist, Cornelia Parker, Loses Wing in Cuts Campaign
Sotheby's First-Ever Evening Sale of Islamic Art Realises £7 Million - Well Above Pre-Sale Expectations
Important Whistler and Old Master Prints at Swann Galleries' Three-Part Print Auction
The Onassis Cultural Center in New York Explores the Role of Heroes in Society
Portland-based Artist to Exhibit for Art For Arts' Sake Opening of the New Orleans Art Season
As 'Peanuts' Turn 60, Schulz Family Plans Future - More TV Specials and New Film
Sears Wants to Buy Back Willis Tower Sculpture Made by Alexander Calder
First Day of Historic Three-Day Attic Sale at Chatsworth Realises US$7 Million
First Kristin Baker Exhibition in an American Museum Opens at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Sidney Nolan's Antarctic Paintings on Display at the Polar Museum in Cambridge
Baba Bling: The Peranakan Chinese of Singapore at the Musée du Quai Branly
Modern Works by Artist Joan Miró Displayed at Metropolitan Museum with Dutch Old Master Paintings
Sotheby's Hong Kong Fine Chinese 2010 Autumn Sale Fetches US$52.2 Million
Rainer Fetting's "Manscapes", Painted between 1974 and 2010, on View at Kunsthalle Tubingen
Fire Virtually Destroys Southeastern England Landmark 19th-Century Hastings Pier
More than 60 Rare and Unpublished Photographs by Richard Avedon Set for Auction
Maryhill Museum of Art Announces Plans for First Expansion in 70-Year History
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- 100 nude women pose in Cleveland, reflecting on Trump
2.- West Kowloon Cultural District Authority appoints M+ Executive Director
3.- Hieronymus Bosch, Touched by the Devil: Movie has US premiere at Film Forum
4.- Masterpieces replaced by fakes in six national galleries in treasure hunt
5.- On the Verge of Insanity: Van Gogh 'suicide gun' on display in Amsterdam
6.- Getty Museum opens exhibition of illuminated manuscripts
7.- Two rolls of early Kodak film acquired by the George Eastman Museum
8.- Dark secrets of the man who opened architecture to the light
9.- Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's refugee life jackets in Vienna palace pond
10.- Gallery 19C brings together two views of Venice by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
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, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.