Le Corbusier Purism and Cubism

Annotated Bibliography Note:

Blau, Eve and Nancy J. Troy. Architecture and Cubism. The MIT Press, 1997.


This is a book contain eleven articles that is about Cubism and architecture, even though not all of the chapter is about Le Corbusier but it gives a clear definition as example of Cubism architecture. In chapter 10, the essay explore the connection between Le Corbusier’s purist art and his architecture projects of the same period with notes parallels between his work in both media on the one hand and cubism on the other.


Boyer, Christine M. Le Corbusier: Homme de Lettres. Princeton Architectual Press. 2011.


“Homme de Lettres” (Man of Letters) celebrated for Le Corbusier’s architecture numbers fewer than sixty buildings, Le Corbusier also wrote more than fifty books, hundreds of articles, and thousands of letters. Le Corbusier, Homme de Lettres is the first in-depth study of Le Corbusier as a writer as well as an architect. Featuring more than two hundred archival images from Le Corbusier’s life and work, this groundbreaking book examines his many writing projects from 1907 to 1947, as well as his letters written to two mentors: Charles L’Eplattenier and William Ritter. Author M. Christine Boyer focuses on the development of his writing style as it morphed from romantic prose to aphorisms and telegraphic bulletins. For each of his books, Le Corbusier was meticulous about the design of the page layout, the form of the type, the impact of the ideas, and even the promotional material. As a man of letters, Le Corbusier expected to contribute to the cultural atmosphere of the twentieth century. Le Corbusier, Homme deLettres shows for the first time how his voluminous output—books, diaries, letters, sketchbooks, travel notebooks, lecture transcriptions, exposition catalogs, journal articles—reflects not just a compulsion to write, but a passion for advancing his ideas about the relationship between architecture, urbanism, and society in a new machine age. Chapter 6 The Method for the Arts of Today, the author explain deeply on the history of purism and cubism it has a lot of quote from Le Corbusier and Ozenfant that let us know more about the time and the throey.


Penalta, Catalan Rocio. Le Corbusier An Architect On The Way to The East: Impressions and                  

        drawing. Studia Universitati Petro Maior Phiologia. 2011.


In May 1911, Le Corbusier travelled to eastern Europe, this article is to point out to what extent this experience of instruction, initiation and discovery through eastern Europe will have a clear influence on the future works of Le Corbusier, both in his architectural projects and theoretical

reflections. The author describes Purism as pretends to achieve as maximum stylist purification as possible by means of the use of colours, lines and pure shapes. Thus, in that primitive art

Le Corbusier detects “the instinctive appreciation of the organic line” on the part of “the small town potter […] whose fingers unconsciously respond to the orders of the secular tradition” (p. 24)


Clarke, Joseph. Iannis Xenakis and the Philips Pavilion. The Journal of Architecture. 2012. 17,

no.2: 213-229


The Philips Pavilion, design by Le Corbusier’s office for the 1958 World’s Fair, brought the

architectural plan, the optical effects of movement and the ideology of progress into a

more intense discursive relationship than virtually any project since his Purist houses of

the 1920s. While the Pavilion has long been recognized as a seminal work, scholars have

tended to overlook the aesthetic intentions of its chief designer, the composer Iannis

Xenakis, often simplistically characterizing the building as an architectural ‘translation’ of

music. This paper closely examines several of Xenakis’s wireframe axonometric sketches

along with new diagrammatic renderings to analyze the formal disconnect between the

Pavilion’s plan and the experience of walking around and through it.


Cohen, Jean- Louis. The Future of Architecture Since 1889. Phaidon Press, 2012


This is a book that linking architecture to developments in art, technology, urbanism and critical theory. Encompassing both well-known masters and previously neglected but significant architects, this book also reflects the writer deep knowledge of architecture across the globe, and in places such Eastern Europe and colonial Africa and South America that have rarely been included in histories of this period. In Chapter 10 Return to order in Paris, it states the history of Purism and a few example of Le Corbusier’s modern house.


Coll, Jamie. Structure and Play in Le Corbusier’s Art Work. Architectural Association School of

Architecture. 1996: 3-14.


This is an article is about the art work Le Corbusier accomplish with in the 1927-1953, Le Poeme de l’Angle Driot is one of the work is describe in the article, it is  a portfolio of 155 lithographs made between 1947 and 1953. The article describes how Le Corbusier develop Purism art, for example reduce black and white version of color or marriage of lines. Le Corbusier had named his art as two categories, unconscious and conscious. Unconscious period is when he is exploring the topic for his art and conscious is when he is exploring the topic and the final work.


Heer, Kan de. The Architectonic Colour: Polychromy in the Purist Architecture of Le Corbusier.

olo Publisher, 2009.


This is a book that originally publishes in Dutch, it is a book about the reconstruction of a working method on architectonic polychromy and a considerations that led to this method. This method was started by Le Corbusier on his purism art and architecture. For example the pavilion de L’Esprit Nouveau using color to decorate and a visual purpose, the pavilion are supported by free load-bearing concrete skeleton which leads to this purism example of “Plan Libre” in architecture by Le Corbusier. De Stijl is the example of the first polychrome experiment in purism in art, using primary colors to compose and later it is used to paint on element of architecture.


Le Corbusier. Essential Le Corbusier L’Esprit Nouveau Article. Architectural Press. 1998.


This is a book with three main articles by Le Corbusier, Toward a New Architecture, The City of Tomorrow and The Decorative Art of Today. From these articles is the information of the insight of the art or the theory that Le Corbusier shown in his work. For this paper assignment, The Decorative Art of Today noted  the 1925 expo, the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion. The Book was inspired by and written in protest to the Decorative Arts Exhibition mounted in Paris in 1925. In it Le Corbusier warned about certain dangerous trends he saw emerging in interior, industrial, and architectural design. He did not like what he saw. Against the official tradition of interior decoration, he called for an architecture that satisfied the imperatives of function through form and for an interior and an industrial design that responded to the industrial needs of the present, machine-age methods of production.Although the exhibition that spawned the term “Art Deco” was organized by the French Ministry of Industry and Commerce for the purpose of creating a market for French arts and crafts and to fend off the influx of foreign products, Le Corbusier saw an opportunity to show that the industry was capable of supplying not only the apartment but the entire city with mass-produced furniture and objects. His own roots lay in the crafts tradition; yet in this book he rejects the masters Ruskin, Hoffmann, Guimard, and Grasset and provides a theoretical basis for his opposition to decoration. The translator, James Dunnett, is professor of architecture at the University of Canterbury.


Merjan, Ara H. Discipline and Ridicule: Giorgio de Chirico, Le Corbusier, and The Objects of

         Architecture in Interwar Paris. Grey Room. 2011


The Article talks about Le Corbusier’s Purism compare with the same period, the dadaist and proto-surrealist, and introduce the relationship of the cartoonist Breton. The article answers the follow question, what was the relationship between Metaphysical painting and Purism, their respective negotiations of modernity and antiquity, avant-garde and reaction? And  rapport between de Chiricoand Le Corbusier?


Richards, Simon. Le Corbusier and the concept of self. Yale University press. 2003.


This is a book explain the drama about separating his public and private lives and examine the position of Le Corbusier’s idea within the intellectual life of the twentieth century in the light of this new understanding . In Chapter 4, the author shows the purist life Le Corbusier lives with less public expose, it gives us the idea of the how the work was produce and how does it compare with the other purism art.

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