The Judicious Eye: Architecture Against the Other Arts

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Reaktion, 2008 - Architectural design - 496 pages
"It is only in relatively recent times that architecture, together with engineering and other allied disciplines, has been divorced from the visual arts. During the Renaissance, for example, there were no divisions between artist, architect and engineer, and artists were capable of designing bridges, as the level of structural calculations involved was within the scope of the generalist. In The Judicious Eye, Joseph Rykwert examines how this separation of roles occured, how architecture and the arts are now coming together again, and what this implies for the future. Architecture was first withdrawn from the community of the arts during the Enlightenment, partly at the bidding of philosophers: Kant excluded it from aesthetic attention; later, Hegel declared it moribund and Schopenhauer found it crass - though all three had much to say about literature and music, even painting and sculpture. While architects bound themselves into a profession, other artists moved into marginal situations, and a widening gulf thus opened between architects and other 'visual' artists. There have been various attempts to heal the breach, most notably by Richard Wagner, who advocated the Gesamtkunstwerk, the total work of art, where music and literature play out their action against an appropriate architectural setting. In the twentieth century architects were enlisted by the artistic avant-garde in its battle against a stagnant society, and artists today continue to be urged by various institutions to re-enter public space on their own terms. In the twenty-first century art and architecture are growing closer: some architects are attempting sculptural forms in their buildings, and sculptors have been called on to 'shape' whole buildings to their fancy. The Judicious Eye is a fascinating, well-illustrated account of architecture's separation and reconnection with the arts, which will interest specialists in architecture and engineering, as well as the wide audience for art and history."--PUBLISHER'S WEBSITE.

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About the author (2008)

Joseph Rykwertis Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books including The Seduction of Place: The History and Future of Cities(2002) and The Idea of a Town(1988).

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