Exquisite Corpse: Writing on Buildings

Michael Sorkin, Author Verso $60 (365p) ISBN 978-0-86091-323-8
Sorkin, a practicing architect and Yale professor who for 10 years was the Village Voice 's architecture critic, is a formidable opponent of the banal, the ugly, the stupid and the vapidly posturing which, he argues, are all around us. In these 56 fearless, salubrious essays, reviews, diatribes and encomiums from the Voice , the Nation , Architectural Rec ord and elsewhere, he finds much contemporary architecture preoccupied with empty style and only dimly awakening from its ``Reaganoid snooze.'' Philip Johnson is dismissed as a trendy tastemaker and condemned for his alleged pro-Nazi sympathies and anti-Semitism during the 1930s. He calls Donald Trump ``arrogant apostle of the indefensible'' and lambastes New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger as ``embodiment of the aesthetics of yuppification.'' Sorkin's tastes run to Alvar Aalto, Frank Lloyd Wright, urban visionary Lebbeus Woods and the Italian Carlo Scarpa. Sidetrips to Los Angeles and Las Vegas round out a punchy, provocative collection. Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Paperback - 380 pages - 978-0-86091-687-1
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