The Search for Form in Art and Architecture

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Dover Publications, 1948 - Architecture - 354 pages
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Eliel Saarinen, father of Eero Saarinen and the foremost architectural conceptualist of this century, trained a generation of visionaries at the famous Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he presided as Director from 1932 to 1948. He profoundly altered the course of modern art with his bold, innovative style and ceaseless striving for ideal form. In this important volume, the leader of the "American Bauhaus" has set down the principles that guided his work, making them comprehensible to the general reader and student. Emphasizing design on an organic level and an interrelated study of all fields of art, Saarinen rejects the slavish mimicry of old, exhusted styles (e.g. Classicism and Romanticism). Instead, he promotes the development of fresh modes of artistic expression, appropriate to each new generation. Saarinen's persuasive and illuminating text is divided into three main sections. Part I consists of an introductory analysis, an historical overview of art, and an examination of art in the modern world, highlighting the role of mechanization. Part II addresses the creative instinct, organic order, form and vitality, and form and time. In Part III, form is related to aspects of reason and sensation: truth, logic, function, color, decoration, space, theory, tradition, beauty, taste, and imagination. Both a valuable historical tract and a practical guide to the creative process, this convenient paperback volume (the only edition in print) makes Saarinen's powerful insights accessible to all artists, architects, art historians, and students of design

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