Friday, October 7

Brutalism Is Back

"IN THE RANK OF UNFLATTERING monikers for an artistic style, 'Brutalism' has got to score near the top. Like the much kinder-sounding 'Fauvism' or 'Impressionism,' it was a term of abuse for the work of architects whose buildings confronted their users — brutalized them — with hulking, piled-up slabs of raw, unfinished concrete. These same architects, centered on the British couple Alison and Peter Smithson, enthusiastically took up Brutalism as the name for their movement with a kind of pride, as if to say: That’s right, we are brutal. We do want to shove your face in cement. For a world still climbing gingerly out of the ruins of World War II, in need of plain dealing and powerful messages, this brand of architectural honesty was refreshing. ..."