Donita Ellison is an art educator and Aesthetic Realism associate, originally from Springfield, Missouri. She writes about “Le Corbusier & the Debate in People between Coolness & Warmth” by Dale Laurin, RA:
I first learned about the 20th-century architect Le Corbusier when I was an art major in college, and I was especially moved by the sweeping design, both warm and exact, of the chapel he built in the French Alps at Ronchamp. But I saw no relation between what I learned in my art history class and the confusions of my own life. The way I could be interested in things and other people and also be cold and aloof, did not make sense to me. I love Aesthetic Realism for explaining that art answers the questions of our lives: “All beauty,” Eli Siegel stated, “is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Read here what Dale Laurin, architect and Aesthetic Realism consultant, shows in his exciting paper “Le Corbusier & the Debate in People between Coolness & Warmth.”
Presented at the 2013 Annual Conference on Architecture at the Athens Institute for Education & Research, Athens, Greece.
The Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, who lived from 1887 to 1965, is widely regarded as one of the most important architects of the 20th century. I believe his life and work are centrally explained by Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy founded by the great American poet and critic Eli Siegel (1902-1978), who stated: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” This groundbreaking principle provides the criterion both for beauty and for happiness and self-respect in people’s lives. It states that a work of art—in this instance, architecture—is successful in proportion to how imaginatively, richly it puts together opposites, such as heaviness and lightness, surface and depth, freedom and order. It also shows that we can learn from art how to compose these same opposites in ourselves.
The sculptural power of Le Corbusier’s buildings stirred me from the first photographs of them I saw as a student. The structures he designed range from individual homes, like the 1908 house in Paris commissioned by the brother of American writer Gertrude Stein, to the master plan and several government buildings he designed for Chandigarh, India in the 1950s….>>Read more