Books

The Modernist Garden in France

£45.00

ISBN: 9780300047165
Author(s): Dorothee Imbert
Format: hardback
Year published: 1993
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 284
Illustrations: Illustrated in black and white throughout

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The modernist garden, which flourished in France between the 1910s and the 1930s, vividly mirrored the geometries and cubist aesthetics familiar to the fine and decorative arts of the period. Created by architects and artists from Andre and Paul Vera to Le Corbusier, such gardens boldly questioned traditional garden design and theory, representing the landscape instead as a once-removed vision of nature. This illustrated book presents a study of these arresting architectonic gardens. Drawing on archives and photo collections in several countries, the author shows how designers used new materials and vocabulary to challenge gravity, traditional notions of time and movement, and a preconceived notion of nature and garden as a symbiotic system. She discusses the innovative and highly formal garden designs at the 1925 Exposition of Decorative and Industrial Arts: Robert Mallet-Stevens’ four sunken lawn beds with perfectly identical trees whose foliage consisted only of articulated concrete planes; Gabriel Guevrekian’s triangular garden where time and motion were expressed by the revolution of a large crystal sphere, water jets, and the optical vibration of complementary colour planes; and the garden of interior designer and bookbinder Pierre Legrain, where lawn resembled Moroccan leather and flower beds the gilding of a book cover. In addition to analyzing numerous examples of garden art’s response to modernist strategies, Imbert provides insights to Le Corbusier’s landscape design by situating it within the prevailing cultural and design trends.

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