Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture


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VENTURI, Robert. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. Garden City, New York: The Museum of Modern Art/Doubleday, (1966). Slim octavo, original gray cloth, original dust jacket.

First edition of this richly illustrated architecture work by groundbreaking architect Robert Venturi, the first in MoMA's Papers on Architecture series, inscribed by Venturi to noted Detroit architect Glen Paulsen: "To Glen, Friendship—Bob."

"Not many architecture books have defined a specific historical moment in the way Robert Venturi's Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture has; a book that, published 50 years ago and in print to the present day, fundamentally changed how we look at, think and talk about architecture. The architectural historian Vincent Scully's famous assessment of Venturi's treatise as 'probably the most important writing on the making of architecture since Le Corbusier's Vers une Architecture' has proven to be to the point in many ways, and few architecture books since have achieved a comparable significance in shaping the discipline's discourse… Complexity and Contradiction has been hailed as a source text of architectural Postmodernism" (Architectural Digest). With an introduction by Vincent Scully, the Yale architecture historian. This copy is inscribed to Venturi's friend, Detroit architect Glen Paulsen. "Although trained in the classical Beaux-Arts manner, as a practitioner Paulsen was an avowed modernist. As associate and senior designer with Eero Saarinen & Associates, he led the design of the American Embassy in London, the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, and Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Indiana" (Cranbrook Center). Paulsen was also a renowned architecture educator. Through lengthy tenures at both the University of Michigan and Cranbrook Academy, Paulsen deeply influenced the next generation of architects. In fact, his visiting artist program brought in architects whose lasting influence can be seen all over the Midwest, such as Louis I. Kahn and Minoru Yamasaki. Due to illness, Paulsen left teaching and established his own architectural practice, going back to executing the edgy modern designs for which he was known.

Book about-fine, dust jacket with slight soiling and light wear to extremities. A near-fine inscribed copy.

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