The curves of time: the memoirs of Oscar Niemeyer

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Phaidon, Jan 10, 2000 - Architecture - 185 pages
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer (b. 1907) is one of the architectural masters of the twentieth century and a pioneer of Modernism. Although Niemeyer has designed hundreds of striking and remarkably visionary buildings and masterplans during his six -decade career, he is known primarily for his role as chief architect for Brasilia and his extended collaborations with Le Corbusier. Today Niemeyer is admired for his highly inventive, organic forms that reinterpret the austerity of European Modernism.

In this first English-language edition of Niemeyer's memoirs, the architect reveals how his many passions -- among them his large family, many friends, the sensuous landscape of Brazil, women, communism, art and literature -- have influenced his life and in turn inspired his architecture. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Niemeyer graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in 1934. As a student he worked in the office of Lucio Costa, and on graduation he began collaborating with Le Corbusier on a new Ministry of Education and Health Building in Rio. Yet in contrast to the International Style, Niemeyer's curvilinear forms reflected Brazil's lush, undulating landscape and the emotive style of its music and dance.

Here Niemeyer recounts his life in an informal, fluid narrative that moves from his childhood in Rio to friendships with intellectuals and politicians such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Fidel Castro, to tales of adventurous road trips. The book includes forty sketches by Niemeyer executed specially for these memoirs, a chronology of his life and career, notes and an index.

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An unceremonious autobiography that aims to capture the enthusiasm for life, the Brazilian landscape, many loves and friendships of master architect Oscar Neimeyer. More than a chronological ... Read full review


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