Modernism

Pictured: Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier (1887-1965) – The bust of Le Corbusier in Roquebrune Cap Martin, where he lived and died.

Fiona MacCarthy: Eric Gill (1989) Chapter Eleven: Pigotts 1928-40

“…It is in some ways quite surprising to discover how many of (Eric Gill’s) contacts of this period – Serge Chermayeff, Eric Mendelsohn, Maxwell Fry, for instance – belonged with that close-knit group of architect-designers considered at the time to be alarmingly progressive. In the early thirties Gill was at least partly in the avant-garde. The diary records that in 1933 he went to watch the Boat Race from Maxwell Fry’s house in Hammersmith: the distance he had travelled from Cobden-Sanderson’s Hammersmith to Maxwell Fry’s is striking. That same year, on one of his frequent trips to Cambridge, he visited Finella, the house designed by Raymond McGrath* for Mansfield Forbes, a young history don at Clare. Of all the new architecture of the period this building was the ultimate in rationality: a modern glass house…Eric Gill visits Finella!…His whole idea of churches being places which chaps prayed in was not so far removed from the Le Corbusier concept of the house as a machine for living in…”

*(Setting up practice in London in 1930, McGrath’s first commission was to design the interiors for Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London. To assist with such a large commission, he solicited the help of Wells Coates and Serge Chermayeff; the latter was passing through London and would emigrate to America in 1940. Further interior design jobs followed, including a design for the aeroplane interiors for Imperial Airways.)

Ashby/Gronberg/Shaw-Miller, eds: The Viennese Cafe and Fin-de-Siecle Culture (2013):

“…Where is your Montmartre, where is your Quartier Latin?” visitors from Paris would ask. “We have none,” answered the symbolist poet Arthur Symons in 1908, “for the cafe is responsible for a good part of the Bohemianism of Paris and we have no cafes”…..its protagonists tended to foregather in restaurants rather than cafes. The Imagists famously dined at Dieudonne’s, an expensive restaurant in Ryder Street off Piccadilly, the Vorticists at the Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel in Percy Street, near Tottenham Court Road. Editorial meetings for A.R. Orage’s journal New Age were held on Mondays at the ABC Restaurant in Chancery Lane, while Harriet Weaver’s Egoist group preferred Belotti’s Ristorante Italiano in Old Compton Street. Ford Maddox Hueffer recalls that his first meeting with the sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska took place in “a low teashop”.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s