With Le Corbusier in Person - Hosting the Exhibition "Le Corbusier" in Yugoslavia in 1952 and 1953

author: Tamara Bjažić Klarin, Institute of Art History
published: Dec. 1, 2015,   recorded: November 2015,   views: 1874


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Touring exhibition Le Corbusier, first exhibition of a foreign architect in Yugoslavia after the Second World War, took place in five out of six capitals of Yugoslavian republics, Split, and Mostar, in the late 1952 and first half of 1953. It was one of a series of cultural events and professional exchanges with West that marked the first half of the 1950's. After a representative exhibition of Yugoslavian architecture in Rabat organised on the occasion of joining International Union of Architects (UIA), opportunity to sum up achievements of the first five-year plan and proof of existence of modernist discourse inherited from interwar period, Le Corbusier's exhibition was supposed to indicate the direction of further development of urban planning and architecture liberated from classical International style spatial organisation and design. The exhibition was a dialogue initiated by Le Corbusier himself, a platform of topics and designs important for solving acute omnipresent problems – reconstruction and construction of cities, and housing. By organising the exhibition after the short-lived episode of Soviet socialist realism Federal Union of Associations of Yugoslav Architects confirmed its commitment to modernism as an official architectural style of socialist Yugoslavia and Le Corbusier’s position of a leading foreign architect whose name was synonymous with Neues Bauen already in 1920’s. The leading Yugoslavian architects, namely Nikola Dobrović, Juraj Neidhardt, and Edvard Ravnikar (the latter two worked at Le Corbusier’s studio in 1930’s), supported the exhibition as well and contributed to its significance by delivering keynote speeches and lectures. The presentation will examine the exhibition’s reception and its relevance regarding other professional events of the first half of the 1950’s. By presenting exhibition content and series of comparative examples it will also indicated the scope of architectural and urban planning production that it affected.

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