cover image Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier

Rizzoli, Heidi Wever, Heidi Weber. Rizzoli International Publications, $175 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1062-8

Le Corbusier painted or sketched nearly every day. The oils, watercolors, drawings and sculptures reproduced in this lavish album reveal a less well-known side of the coolly rational architect. A severed, screaming head, large mechanical women a la Fernand Leger, interlocking, invented forms--this is the freewheeling world of ``purism,'' a somewhat misleading term the architect applied to his own painterly style to set it apart from cubism. We get a pleasing cacaphony of colors and shapes, filtered through a meticulous sensibility. In the 1930s, Le Corbusier embarked on a breezy series of nudes--busty, Junoesque beach goddesses, a theme he later developed in monumental or semiabstract images. Wit and imagination animate his painted biomorphic sculptures, whose fanciful shapes teeter in a delicate balance. This showcase features works from the Heidi-Weber-Haus, the author's private museum in Zurich, devoted to Le Corbusier's art. (Apr.)