Critics Contend Postmodernism Represents Cultural Studies Essay

Introduction (256)

After the Second World War, the modern socialist construction occupies an important position. Modernist architecture has been described as an innovation in 18th century art and architecture. Van Der Rohe said "Less is more" in 1959 (Gössel and Leuthäuser, 2001, p 225 ). From that moment, architecture style went back to basics. It reduced architecture’s ornamentation of the buildings in order to reveal its structure which it returned to the essential (Ruby, Sachs and Ursprung, 2003, p 24). Modernist architecture notion that architecture should be devoid of links with traditions and produce a technologically rational, austere and functionalist architecture. However some modernism architects appeared different thesis of architecture. In the United States and Western Europe architects have been against want to correction of modern architecture since the 1960 s. Some people in modern architecture will be put forward views and style doubt and criticism, such as Robert Venturi, Philip Johnson and Michael Graves.

According to the schizophrenic solution Jencks on his book Critical Modernism defined that architecture is professionally based and popular and new techniques and old patterns (Jencks, 2007). Postmodernism is the continuation and transcendence of the modernism. Postmodernism has its double meaning as the continuation of modernism and its transcendence. Michael Graves played a key role in the postmodern architecture which is a transition between abstract modernism and postmodernism (arch daily, 2012). This essay will use Michael Graves’s work to analysis and discuss postmodern architecture in these ways, such as: devoid of links with traditions and produce a technologically rational, austere, and functionalist architecture.

Modernism/ Postmodern: (304)

The modernism in architecture rejection of historic precedents and tradition, strongly focus on the function,use new technology. There have three defined principles of the modern movement which include architecture as volume, regularity and avoidance of decoration (Hitchcock, Johnson, 1932). Modernism architecture disregard for the historical context, it is a response to the Second World War. Louis Sullivan in 1896 proposes that Form follows Function. This principle associated with modern architecture. It means the form of the building should be based on its function or purpose. The key architecture of the modernist architects included Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Louis Sullivan. Le Corbusier states five principles in the modern architecture in 1912 which include: pilotis (columns support the building on the ground) ; roof gardens (flat roof and platform on the roof) ; free plan (the wall freely to move within the space without being confined by structure) ; Horizontal window (which express the non structural character of the external walls); free facade which is the free design of the facades of the building) (Wintle, 1981). This principle is highly influence the modern architecture in the 1900s. The key materials used of modernism architecture which are concrete, steel and glass. The direct consequence of the modern movement is the postmodern movement. Postmodernism reacts against modernism. The key aims of the postmodernism which is architecture should look back to the past for inspiration of history and tradition, ideas of complexity theory, double coding, irony and cultural context (Jenks, 2007). As well as in Robert Venturis first book, complexity and contradiction in architecture (1966), he states that use a series of visual preferences against modernism and less is bore. For example: complexity and contradiction vs simplification; ambiguity and tension rather than straightforwardness; ‘both- and’rather than ‘either- or’, doubly-functioning elements rather than singly working ones, hybrid rather than pure elements and messy vitality (or ‘different whole’) rather than obvious unity (Jencks, 1991,p 70). Postmodern architecture is against elitism and mistake of modernism (Jencks, 1991). Robert Venturi rebutting Mies Van Der Rhoe in his book complexity and contradiction in architecture (1966), he declared,"Blatant simplification means bland architecture. Less is a bore." Postmodern architecture preferred use history elements into his own work, such like Mannerist, Baroque and Rococo. Postmodern architecture is professionally based on new techniques and old pattern (Jencks, 2007). However, Michael Graves use of color, texture, and classical allusion defied modernist principles.

Michael Graves developed strategies (309)

Michael Graves has been interest in drawing and painting since his childhood that has continued to his career in architecture. He spend two years in Rome, studying painting and drawing the building and the landscape. During that moment, Michael Graves was not only critic and analysis the great classical architecture, also exposed to the literature of criticism of architecture. This experiences influence his academic career as well as his architectural design. His early painting was very colourful and abstractive (Figure 1). He identified as one of The New York Five in him early career. New York Five include Peter Eisenman, Richard Meier, Charles Gwathmey, Michael Graves and John Hejduk and appeared in 1969 (Gelernter, 2001). They all believe pure form of architectural modernism, then attempted to follow Le Corbusier’s austere white house of the 1920s (Gelernter, 2001). They wished architecture form should without content. For them, designing only need concern geometry and shapes, without concern there meanings.

However, Michael Graves design style has huge change, from early modernist style to a series of a classical interest of abstract collage of postmodern architecture. Michael Graves played a hugely significant role in transition between abstract modernism and postmodernism. Michael Graves’s work representation was a sense of playfulness and sophistication by using a clear point of view. Michael Graves uses traditional elements such as typically through arches, columns and pediments to balance with is building, and also exploration with color against with modern architecture (architecture biography, nd). From this moment, Michael Graves’s own work start evolved relative use of color and figurative architecture that incorporates traditional elements, then disregard for modernism architecture. Martin Filler said: "The man who is rewriting the language of color" (architecture biography, nd). Michael Graves uses colours represent nature and materials. For example, He uses terra cotta to represent the earth; this color always shows at the base of his structure. He uses blue metaphor for the sky, is often show for the ceiling of the building. Michael Graves uses color as symbolism in his architecture work. This architecture composition influenced his design of building in the exterior and interior.