Paintings & Sketches of Louis I Kahn

Jan Hochstim, Author, Vincent Scully, Introduction by Rizzoli International Publications $85 (340p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1381-0
Architect Louis Kahn's (1901-1974) little-known paintings and drawings are an astonishing body of work. In apparent contrast to the formalism of his geometrical buildings, he gives us Venice bathed in a palpable aura of romanticism, conjures mystical views of Gloucester, Mass., streets, fuses the influences of Picasso and Matisse in jolting portraits, and embroiders an exquisite tracery in graphite or crayon sketches of bridges and houses. He freely paraphrases Cezanne, John Marin, Grant Wood, El Greco and art deco while stamping his own personality on every picture. He outdoes himself in flamboyantly colorful yet tightly controlled pastels evoking ancient Egypt's grand geometrical forms. There are also lyrical tree studies, empathic sketches of animals, bold metaphysical abstractions. Limpid clarity, a sense of order and pure poetry are everywhere in evidence. Hochstim, an architect and associate professor at the University of Miami, presents a catalogue raisonne of 480 works and a biographical sketch of the Estonian-born modernist. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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