Architectural Theory and Criticism

315 words | 2 page(s)

Robert Venturi changed the face of contemporary architecture, Venturi feeling that less can be boring. As opposed to Avant-garde and Kitsch styles, Venturi’s structures take a different approach, architectural systems, elements and goals juxtaposed in a unique way, so that conflicts and struggles of a project or design can be presented, as opposed to hiding the architect’s challenges. Since old approaches of art failed to show the problems of architecture, the old avant-garde ways resulted in a simpler, more edited version of artistry. Venturi’s work, such as the North Penn Visiting Nurses Headquarters and the Vanna Venturi House showed all of the mistakes and asymmetries, which resulted in a richer, more complicated structures. In a way, Venturi’s art was almost a way to bear one’s soul and project the good and bad of every project.

Venturi’s book “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture,” incorporated linguistic theories, Venturi using the literary criticism of T. S. Eliot to describe his architecture. Venturi liked the fact that Eliot enjoyed reading poetry that was rich and layered, different readers drawing upon various interpretations that are often complex and different in terms of how one perceives a piece.

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Peter Eisenman’s work is described as deconstructive, late avant-garde, or high modernist art. Eisenman enjoyed the works and linguistic writings of Giuseppe Terragni, Andrea Palladio, and James Stirling. In some ways, Eisenman’s work has been less well received than Venturi, the former’s work described as post-humanist. Eisenman is also not that concerned with the environment, but he did express some admiration for computerized art. However, Eisenman seemed to be disconnected from the needs and comfort of his artistic viewers, many of his architectural structures making people nauseous. Some of his architectural structures have also been pegged as too hostile and have required some revamping and repairs, including the Wexner Center, the first public deconstructivist building.

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