Mies van der Rohe: Mies In Berlin

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This in-depth look at Mies van der Rohe's early career is the first to examine the architect's work in Europe in terms of specific historical and cultural context, rather than the more abstract and formal arguments of the International Style. While earlier studies have described a fundamental break between Mies's neo-classical work prior to 1919 and the more avant-garde work of the 1920s, recent research demonstrates that the transformation was much more gradual. Here 11 scholars and architectural historians explore particular aspects of Mies's work, together shedding new light on the continual interplay of tradition and innovation, nature and abstraction, in the evolution of his design theories and methods. With a wealth of photographs and drawings, many not previously published, this book conveys for the first time the dynamic intellectual ferment of this formative period in the life of one of architecture's towering figures. Published to accompany a groundbreaking 2001 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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About the Author:

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born in 1886 in Germany; he died in the United States in 1969. One of the pioneers of modern architecture and the International Style, he started out as an assistant to Peter Behrens. A former director of the Bauhaus, some of his most important buildings include the 1929 German Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exhibition and the 1956-58 Seagram Building in New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

One of the century's major architects receives a thorough, beautiful and masterfully documented treatment in this pair of massive books prompted by a pair of linked New York exhibits, at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, which run through September. After adding the magisterial "van der Rohe" of his maternal grandfather to his name, Ludwig Mies (1886-1969) built up an impressive record of angular houses and advanced theories in Germany before he fled to America in 1938. Once here, he perfected the spacious, modernist, glass-and-steel structures that brought fame to his International Style among them New York's Seagram Building and Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology a style also championed and promulgated by the young Phillip Johnson. MoMA's first Mies show, in 1947, cast him as a hero of abstracts and absolutes. The new volume on his Berlin years, by contrast, aims to humanize the architect and to show him responding to his times. Here are dozens of blueprints and drawings some never built along with photographs of his early houses (some predating WWI). Here, too, are essays from nine scholars and critics about his urban theory, about Berlin's early skyscrapers and about Mies's relations with dada, the movies, Prussia and philosophy. The attractive book on his American work may have slightly broader appeal: essays and photo spreads here focus on Mies's U.S. colleagues and collaborations, and on his interactions with Chicago; 10 essayists contribute, among them Rem Koolhaas (S, M, L, XL), who plans an addition to Mies's IIT. The Berlin volume boasts 200 full-color, 150 duotone and 166 b&w images; its American companion offers 141 color and 499 b&w. (Sept.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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