Concerning Town Planning

By Le Corbusier; Clive Entwistle | Go to book overview

EIGHTEENTH QUESTION

What part of the work of reconstruction do you reserve for painting and sculpture? How do you conceive the relations between the three arts?

These relations seem to us so intimate that we find it natural to see certain constructors practising in themselves such a synthesis: of the major arts. Personally, we practise all three arts, on account of which we receive many severe judgments: "He is a painter who plays at architecture" -- "It is the painting of an architect." Many thanks!

In the epic of an architecture now emerging from the womb we can already read the signs of a resynthesis of the major arts. ASCORAL, in its statutes, announced its aim thus:

"The establishment of a coherent doctrine of ground utilisation and in particular of the sheltered domain and its extensions (of which the effects may pervade the whole territory -- town and countryside) which will respond to the four functions: living, working, cultivation of the body and the mind, circulation."

The last section of work on the programme of ASCORAL was titled: "Synthesis of the Major Arts."


Conclusion

. . . . Cultivation of the mind.

From the depths of pre-history until the epoch when architecture was allowed to die, when the Grandes Ecoles crowned the studies dictated by the Academies with gilded diplomas, the synthesis of the major arts had been spontaneous and natural: architecture, painting, sculpture; that is to say geometry and the grandeur of mathematics or the more sensuous representations of being. Man and his consciousness of himself and his consciousness of the universe. It all held together.

We have still to learn the language that we have to speak. Gone are the metopes, pediments, tympana and even modern capitals. There will be different things, since the form of the sheltered domain is new. It is built otherwise than before and our technical civilization will express its own sensibilities. With what violence, with what eloquence, and with what prodigious invention over a span of 40 years, has cubism already budded and flourished.

"Art: the physical expression of psychic movement in the special mode of plastic creation; (psychic here signifies flowing from the heights of consciousness and exteriorized with a characteristic sensibility)

-126-

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Concerning Town Planning
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Illustrations 6
  • Translator's Introduction 9
  • Part One - Epitome 11
  • Part Two - An Unpremeditated Glance into the Past 15
  • Part Three - One Takes the Opportunity to Reply to An Enquiry 33
  • Conclusion 126
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