NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art
announced the publication of Robert Venturis Complexity and Contradiction at Fifty. First published in 1966, Robert Venturis Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, widely considered a foundational text of postmodernism, has become an essential document in architectural theory and criticism. This two-volume box set reintroduces the original edition in facsimile, highlighting Venturis idiosyncratic yet visually driven argument.
Venturi, a young American architect at the time this book was written, presents his gentle manifesto as the conscious manipulation and rejection of what he saw as the purist simplification of much of postwar modernist architecture. Instead, drawing from a multitude of historical examples, he argues for an architecture that is truthful to the complexities and contradictions of everyday life and of the pluralist society of his present. 350 illustrations accompany the text to give immediate visual references to his argument; and a separate section is devoted to the architects own projects. Vincent Scully, former Professor of the History of Art at Yale University, described this book as probably the most important writing on the making of architecture since Le Corbusiers Vers une architecture, of 1923.
The companion volumes 10 new essays present fresh scholarship on Venturis canonical text. The newly commissioned contributions address diverse issues, such as the books relationship to its authors own built oeuvre and its significance in the contemporary landscape. Additional short commentaries by contemporary practitioners attest to Complexitys enduring relevance for architectural practice. Together, these two volumes expand the horizons ofand introduce a new generation toVenturis gentle manifesto.
Complexity and Contradiction at Fifty was edited by Martino Stierli, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and David Brownlee, the Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of 19th Century European Art at the University of Pennsylvania. It features essays by Jean-Louis Cohen, Lee Ann Custer, Peter Fröhlicher, Diane Harris, Andrew Leach, Mary McLeod, Stanislaus von Moos, Joan Ockman, Emmanuel Petit, and Martino Stierli; commentaries by Sam Jacob, Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, Michael Meredith, Pier Paolo Tamburelli, and Deborah Berke; and interviews with Rem Koolhaas and Stanley Tigerman.
Robert Venturis Complexity and Contradiction at Fifty is published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and is available at MoMA stores and online at store.moma.org. Hardcover, $45/£35. 336 pages, 425 illustrations. ISBN: 978-1-63345-062-2. It is distributed to the trade through ARTBOOK|D.A.P. in the United States and Canada and through Thames & Hudson outside the United States and Canada.