The life and work of the most famous architect of the 20th century, Le Corbusier, will feature in a major, new international exhibition, which will premiere in Liverpool in 2008, during its year as European Capital of Culture.
Organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Trust, Le Corbusier: The Art of Architecture will be exhibited - from 2 October 2008 until 11 January 2009 - in one of the most distinctive and dramatic spaces in the UK, the crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The 1,000m² exhibition will then travel to London to mark the 175th anniversary of the RIBA.
The RIBA Trust will also be bringing the RIBA Stirling Prize to Liverpool for 2008. The new Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool by Wilkinson Eyre Architects will be the venue for the event which again will be broadcast live on Channel 4, on Saturday 11 October.
Speaking about the Le Corbusier exhibition, Charles Knevitt, Director of the RIBA Trust, said:
“This will be the first major exhibition of Le Corbusier’s work in Britain for more than 20 years and will appeal to a new generation of visitors. It features the architect as ‘Renaissance Man’ – artist, writer and polemicist as well as the single most influential designer and urbanist of the last century.”
Interestingly, it will be exactly 50 years since the last, much smaller, exhibition on Le Corbusier in the city, at the Walker Art Gallery in 1958.
Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of Liverpool 2008, said:
“An exhibition of this calibre and significance will make a very valuable contribution to Liverpool’s cultural calendar in 2008. In addition it will bring a strong architectural focus to the year. The exhibition specifically furthers our objective to present the best of international art in Liverpool during its European Capital of Culture year in 2008.”
Le Corbusier: The Art of Architecture will include original architectural models, furniture, previously unpublished vintage prints, drawings, and paintings by Le Corbusier, in addition to specially built models and reconstructions of historical interiors. The exhibition will reconstruct and illustrate the creative process that determined the form of Le Corbusier's most important projects and reveal some of his underlying technical, formal and philosophical preoccupations and themes. Among the previously unpublished material included in the exhibition will be original film footage by the architect; the large-scale mural painting from his own office; and reconstructions of historical architectural models built by him, such as Ville Contemporaine, the monumental model of his Utopian masterplan for Paris.
Le Corbusier: The Art of Architecture is curated by Le Corbusier scholars, Stanislaus von Moos, Arthur Rüegg and Mateo Kries, for Vitra Design Museum, Basel, in collaboration with the RIBA Trust and the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam. The UK curator for the RIBA Trust is Graeme Russell, formerly Director of CUBE, Manchester.
A programme of arts, educational and other events - including an international conference on the 21st Century City, will be curated by the RIBA Trust in association with its Education Partner, Liverpool John Moores University, at its new Design Academy designed by Rick Mather, which also opens in 2008, next to the Cathedral.
The RIBA Trust’s National Sponsors for the exhibition’s showing in Liverpool and London are RIBA North West, Urban Splash and Shed KM.