Thursday, July 26, 2007

Modernist Paradise : Niemeyer House, Boyd Collection

I was first introduced to this book while reading an issue of Vanity Fair -- not your usual source for book reviews but occasionally they do brief mentionings of art themed books. (I also found out about Picasso & Lump via Vanity Fair).

Modernist Paradise : Niemeyer House, Boyd Collection (Rizzoli, 2007) is a feast of modern art, architecture, furniture, objects, and interior design through almost 300 colored illustrations. The reader is invited into Michael and Gabrielle Boyd’s home -- the only North American residential design by Oscar Niemeyer (1907- ). The Boyds rescued this home, in Santa Monica, from demolition and completely restored it and it now also houses their extraordinary 20th century furniture, art and book collections.

The Boyds could have turned this masterpiece into a museum attraction but instead they live in modernist paradise!

The images of these modern masterpieces echo the characteristics of modernist design -- open plans, clean lines and strong construction -- and have the feel of looking at a movie set or flash back to a time that so briefly existed. If you can tear yourself away from the exceptional photographs by Tim Street Porter there is an introduction by Michael Webb and essays by Michael and Gabrielle Boyd. The featured designers include Gerrit Rietveld, Jean ProuvĂ©, Marcel Breuer and Arne Jacobsen but fans of Rudolph Schindler, Charles and Ray Eames, and Jean Arp will not be disappointed. And for the librarian in all of us this beautiful book also includes an excellent index with the artists’ names in bold -- you could not ask for more!

All of the artists names mentioned above and in bold are linked to other titles that can be found at Brand Library.

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