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Judicious Eye, The: Architecture Against The Other Arts

by Joseph Rykwert
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Reaktion Books
  • Publishing date: 04/2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9781861893581
  • ISBN: 1861893582

Synopsis

It is only in relatively recent times that architecture, together with engineering and other allied disciplines, has been divorced from the visual arts. During the Renaissance, for example, there were no divisions between artist, architect and engineer, and artists were capable of designing bridges, as the level of structural calculations involved was within the scope of the generalist. In "The Judicious Eye", Joseph Rykwert examines how this separation of roles occured, how architecture and the arts are now coming together again, and what this implies for the future. Architecture was first withdrawn from the community of the arts during the Enlightenment, partly at the bidding of philosophers: Kant excluded it from aesthetic attention; later, Hegel declared it moribund and Schopenhauer found it crass - though all three had much to say about literature and music, even painting and sculpture. While architects bound themselves into a profession, other artists moved into marginal situations, and a widening gulf thus opened between architects and other 'visual' artists. There have been various attempts to heal the breach, most notably by Richard Wagner, who advocated the Gesamtkunstwerk, the total work of art, where music and literature play out their action against an appropriate architectural setting. In the twentieth century architects were enlisted by the artistic avant-garde in its battle against a stagnant society, and artists today continue to be urged by various institutions to re-enter public space on their own terms. In the twenty-first century art and architecture are growing closer: some architects are attempting sculptural forms in their buildings, and sculptors have been called on to 'shape' whole buildings to their fancy. "The Judicious Eye" is a fascinating, well-illustrated account of architecture's separation and reconnection with the arts, which will interest specialists in architecture and engineering, as well as the wide audience for art and history.

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  • Stimulating analysis
    From Amazon

    As with all of Rykwert's books, I have found this one both knowledgeable and stimulating. The author confronts a problem I have tried to address in my courses in architectural history, namely the relation of architecture to the other arts, especially the privileged ones of painting and sculture. I am now retired, but earnestly wish I had had this book in earlier years! In this age of "happenings," "installation art" and the like, some would say that questions of genre are obsolete, as everything is liminal and transitional. with one thing blending into another. However, I think that genre questions remain important. Also (and this is my personal belief) in the early 21st century painting and sculpture and their congeners have lost their way. They are only of interest to a coterie. Not so architecture. We are privileged to live in one of the most exciting eras in the entire history of architecture! I did note one omission in the opening discusson of advertising in the urban setting. That omission is Robert Venturi's seminal "Learning from Las Vegas," which deals among other things with the relation of signage to "sheds." Also, there could have been more illustrations, though these would raise the price of the book. As it is, the volume is both handsome and good value.

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