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Philip Johnson - Petit, Emmanuel; Yale University School of Architecture; Stern, Robert A. M. - Yale University Press
  • Feb 24, 2009
    274 p., 8 3/4 x 10 1/2
    163 b/w + 53 color illus.
    ISBN: 9780300121810
    Cloth: $60.00 tx
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Art and Architecture

Philip Johnson

The Constancy of Change

  • Edited by Emmanuel Petit; Foreword by Robert A. M. Stern
      REVIEWS             PREVIEW             CONTENTS             EXCERPTS      

Winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Award Bronze Medal in the Architecture National Category, given by Independent Publisher Online

Essays by Beatriz Colomina, Peter Eisenman, Kurt W. Forster, Mark Jarzombek, Charles Jencks, Phyllis Lambert, Reinhold Martin, Detlef Mertins, Joan Ockman, Terence Riley, Vincent Scully, Michael Sorkin, Kazys Varnelis, Stanislaus von Moos, Ujjval Vyas, and Mark Wigley

Witty, wealthy, and well connected, the architect Philip Johnson was for years the most powerful figure in the cultural politics of his profession. As the Museum of Modern Art’s founding architecture curator in the early 1930s, he helped establish modernism in the United States; as the architect of New York’s AT&T building—the “Chippendale skyscraper”—he gave postmodernism commercial viability on a large scale during the 1980s.

 

In this book, sixteen eminent voices in the architectural establishment present their ideas on Johnson, focusing on both his eclectic design approach and his vivid intellect. Among the topics covered are Johnson’s wide-ranging knowledge of art history, his endorsement of different versions of architectural modernism, his use of rhetoric and the mass media, his social persona, and his politics of patronage.

 

Owing perhaps to the control he exerted over critiques of his work, few scholarly treatments of Johnson exist. This “unauthorized” account, the first in-depth study to follow his death, constitutes a milestone in the analysis of one of America’s most renowned architects.

 

 

Emmanuel Petit is assistant professor at the Yale School of Architecture.

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