Charles Rennie Mackintosh: synthesis in form

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Academy Editions, 1994 - Architecture - 224 pages
Charles Rennie Mackintosh Synthesis in Form James Steele Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) is recognised as one of the most original and important designers of the 20th century, and his best known work, the Glasgow School of Art, has achieved the status of architectural icon. Hailed by some as an early progenitor of the Modern Movement, and others as 'Art Nouveau', the diversity and distinctiveness of his architecture, furniture, graphic design and watercolours has always eluded stylistic categorisation, as has Mackintosh himself. This book focuses on Mackintosh's architecture, the medium in which his comprehensive objectives found synthesis, using newly commissioned photographs. Arguing for an inclusive and non partisan approach, James Steele highlights Mackintosh's integration of the decorative arts and the crafts, his reinterpretation of traditional forms derived from vernacular prototypes and his espousal of modern materials and methods made possible by the age of rapid industrialisation. The book also forms a complete account of Mackintosh's career, including his early years as a busy apprentice, architect and then partner in Glasgow, the 'Second City of the Empire', his wartime period on the Suffolk coast, where his attention turned exclusively to watercolour painting, and his later years in Chelsea, where he resumed architectural work. Steele concludes with an assessment of the legacy of Mackintosh in the context of the increasingly fragmented concerns and preoccupations of the post industrial era.

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Mackintosh and His Time
Formative Work 24
Discovery of a Style 42

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About the author (1994)

Steele is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

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