Unformatted text preview: Postmodernism &
1960- Present Origin
Postmodern architecture emerged in the 1960s as a reaction against the perceived
shortcomings of modern architecture, particularly its rigid doctrines, its uniformity, its
lack of ornament, and its habit of ignoring the history and culture of the cities where
In place of the modernist doctrines of simplicity as expressed by Mies in his famous
"less is more;" and functionality, "form follows function", postmodernism, in the
words Robert Venturi, offered complexity and contradiction. Origin
In 1966, Robert Venturi formalized the movement in his book, Complexity and
Contradiction in Architecture. He summarized the kind of architecture he
wanted to see replace modernism:
I welcome the problems and exploit the uncertainties. I like elements which are
hybrid rather than "pure", compromising rather than "clean", accommodating
rather than excluding. I am for messy vitality over obvious unity. I prefer
"both-and" to "either-or", black and white, and sometimes gray, to black or
white. Complexity and
Postmodern buildings had curved forms,
decorative elements, asymmetry, bright
colors, and features often borrowed from
Colors and textures unrelated to the
structure or function of the building were
used. The Neue Staatsgalerie by James Stirling in Stuttgart,
Germany (1977-84). Complexity and
It borrowed freely from classical
architecture, rococo, neoclassical
architecture, the Viennese secession, the
British arts and crafts movement, the
Postmodern buildings often combined
astonishing new forms and features with
seemingly contradictory elements of
The Neue Staatsgalerie by James Stirling in Stuttgart,
Germany (1977-84). Fragmentation
Postmodern architecture often breaks large
buildings into several different structures
and forms, sometimes representing different
functions of those parts of the building.
With the use of different materials and
styles, a single building can appear like a
small town or village. Stadtisches Museum by Hans Hollein in Munich (1972–74). Asymmetrical and
Postmodernist compositions are rarely
symmetrical and orderly. Oblique buildings
which lean, and seem about to fall over are
In 1968 the French architect Claude Parent
designed a church, Sainte-Bernadette in
Nevers, France, in the form of a block of
concrete leaning to one side. Colour
Color is an important element in many
postmodern buildings, to give the facades
variety and personality sometimes colored
glass is used, or ceramic tiles, or stone.
The buildings of Mexican architect Luis
Barragan offer bright sunlight colors that
give life to the forms. Camp Humor
It was an ironic humor which adored
exaggeration, and things which were not
what they seemed.
The gateway of the building is in the form of
an enormous pair of binoculars; cars enter
the garage passing under the binoculars.
Serves a commercial purpose. Binoculars Building in Venice Low Culture
The term "high culture" is often used by art critics when trying to distinguish the "high
culture" of painting and fine arts, from the "low" pop- culture of magazines,
television and other mass-made commodities.
Modernists and other influential supporters like Clement Greenberg (1909-94),
considered low culture to be inferior to high culture.
Pop- artists and others went even further in their attempts to democratize art, by
printing their "art" on mugs, paper bags and T-shirts. 3 Principles of Postmodernist Art Art can be made from
anything. Instant meaning. The idea matters more
than the work of art
Deconstructivism is a movement of postmodern architecture which appeared in the
1980s, which gives the impression of the fragmentation of the constructed building.
It often manipulates the structure's surface skin and creates by non-rectilinear
shapes which appear to distort and dislocate elements of architecture.
The finished visual appearance is characterized by unpredictability, controlled
chaos and absence of harmony, continuity, or symmetry. Deconstructivism
It deliberately juxtaposes elements that appear to contradict each other
in order to challenge traditional ideas of harmony and continuity - even
However, it is really no more than a series of postmodernist "impulses" rather than a coherent
movement, or a consistent design style. It aims to perplex the visitor, making the stay in the space an experience
worth remembering. Lawrence Weiner (Artist)
The idea becomes a machine that makes the art. Philosophy
Weiner realized that the essence of a work is textual and not physical.
This led him to the following formulation, first published in 1968, which
continues to outline his conceptual approach to artmaking:
(1)The artist may construct the piece. (2) The piece may be fabricated. (3) The
piece need not be built.
Each being equal and consistent with the intent of artist, the decision as to
condition rests with the receiver upon the occasion of receivership. Over and Over,
Conceptual Art by Lawrence Weiner at the
Thought of repetition.
Over and Over is labelled as postmodern art
because it is expressly involved in
deconstruction of what makes a work of
art, "art". Frank Gehry (Architect)
Architecture is an art. Philosophy
Gehry views what's around us as modernist, box-like buildings. He approaches
architecture through a personal articulation of ideas. This personal language
reflects his design philosophy related to art, humanity, and time.
He manipulates the constraints of the project, then expresses his creation. He
approaches each building as a sculptural object, each piece of architecture as a
His inspirations come from art and his role models are artists. Philosophy
For Gehry, a big problem of modernism is the loss of a sense of humanity. He
believes that people are the most important thing in architecture.
Thus, Gehry makes expressive buildings to humanize architecture, enrich the human
experience, and create places that people like to be in.
Engaging people's feelings is essential which means finding ways to express feelings
and emotions in architecture. Philosophy
Gehry frees his architecture from the burdens of history.
Because, he believes the language of architecture should speak of its time and
Gehry sees chaos in our time and believes that democracy expresses itself
chaotically. Response to Chaos
Gehry believes that these 'imperfections' of the modern world should be reflected in
architecture, as it does in the arts.
For him, buildings should respond to time and our constantly changing world.
Architecture should address chaos, express unease, and stimulate unpredictability.
To Gehry, chaotic buildings are more poetic. He uses movement as a part of his
language. He believes that movement is pervasive in our time and culture, like
chaos. Walt Disney Concert
Hall in Los Angeles
Through the use of deconstruction,
fragmentation, and metaphors he
assembled an inviting space that would
serve the community for years to come.
The fluidity of the building, welcomes all
7. Postmodernism was a late 20’th century movements.
It opposed the Modernist preoccupation with purity of form and technique.
It aimed to eradicate the divisions between art, popular culture and the
Postmodern artist employed influences from an array of past movements,
applying them to modern form.
Postmodernist embraced diversity.
They rejected the distinction between “high” and “low” art.
Ignoring genre boundaries , the movements encourages the mix of ideas,
medias and forms to promote parody, humor and irony. ...
View Full Document