e-architect – one of the three largest architecture websites in the world – published today the brief editorial Critical Beauty, written by architect Carlos Teixeira after an invitation by the publisher Isabelle Lomholt. Every week, an invited editor presents the new projects of the website, and this week has new works by OMA, Iotti + Pavarani, and others. e-architect also published today the pictures of our 285 Montevideo.
Carlos M Teixeira
The Museum of Troy in Turkey looks beautiful. The beauty of its convulsions; of its structure as architecture; of its sinuous articulation between space, circulation and programme; of its striated materiality; and of Turkey and its ruins.
It is difficult to build in Italy, but the award for the under 40s generation by the Renzo Piano Foundation given to Domus Technica, a research center by Iotti + Pavarani, shows that there are (and there has always been) excellent Italian architects emerging today.
The amount of beautiful projects produced today is enormous. As critic Jeff Kipnis said uncritically, “Architecture has never been this good”. All these buildings are good and, quoting Andy Warhol, “Everybody is too good now, really. Like, how many actors are there? There are millions of actors. They are all pretty good. And how many painters are there? Millions of painters and all very good. (…) I think the artists who aren’t very good should become like everybody else so that people would like things that aren’t very good.”
If Warhol sounds too cynical, truth is that this excess could really be put against a sort of critical beauty. If last century was the century against beauty, it seems that the XXIst begun with a cult of aesthetic indulgences. Reactions against the objective standards of beauty marked the XXth century’s art and architecture: Claude Parent, Lina Bo Bardi and many others knew how to blur the line separating ugliness from beauty.
This week’s Parc des Expositions de Toulouse was designed by OMA – one of the few offices still trying to put beauty in doubt in the conservative world of architecture.Maybe the answer to today architecture’s beautiful complacency lies somewhere between art and architecture; in a possible return of an architecture that seeks to blur these two disciplines; in a practice that avoids rivalry with and, instead, accepts art as a tool to produce a negative – although operative – critique of architecture itself.
This week’s guest editor, Carlos M Teixeira, is the founder of Vazio S/A, an architecture studio based in Brazil. He has shown his work at Venice Architecture Biennale, the V&A, Sao Paulo Art Biennale and others. His latest book, “Entre”, will be published in English by Black Dog next year.