Le Corbusier’s life

Born in 1887 as Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris in
La Chaux-de-Fonds, Le Corbusier was an engraver
by trade. Beginning in 1918 in Paris, he and Amédée
Ozenfant would be instrumental in developing late
Cubism into Purism. He exhibited at Léonce Rosen-
berg – who was the art dealer for the likes of Léger,
Braque, and Picasso, – and took his rightful place at
the very apex of the avant-garde.

However, his international fame came in the mid-1920s,
when he authored the «Vers une architecture». Here,
for the first time, he presented his «five points of a new
architecture» in a concentrated form and so rose to the
stature of an iconic figure – without ever having held
a single lecture. He constructed buildings on five con-
tinents, wrote and designed more than thirty books, not
to mention his many essays and talks. A master of
self-promotion, he was unceasingly aware of the effect
he was having and was never at a loss for new, colossal
urban projects. Both deified and demonized while he
was alive, he was and is still today an essential point
of reference for architecture.

And all of this originates in his artistic work? Indeed. In the course of his «Recherche patiente» for a synthesis
of the arts, Le Corbusier developed his arsenal of forms.
Here he worked through the dissolution and the regene-
ration of the three dimensions, explored the effects of
proportions, carefully probed spatial concepts that had
so far not been given material form, and attempted to
answer the question as to when form comes into being,
to what degree one can change it before it becomes destroyed.

In this pursuit, he drew on every scrap of paper that
came to hand, produced about 500 oil paintings many of
which are now worth millions. He designed tapestries
and sculptures, experimented with enamel and rhodoid,
and continued to work on his printmaking, a set of works
which would finally consist of almost 200 engravings,
lithographs, and etchings – most of them signed – that
would form an integral part of his artistic oeuvre in terms
of motivic selection and composition. Ultimately, LC left
the legacy of a Gesamtkunstwerk, the likes of which have
hardly been left by any other artist.   back
                                                                           Tomas Rabara

For our current range of works of Le Corbusier, see: art-lc.com