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Реферат: English Art in 19-20 centuries

     2.1 ROOTS 1920-1929
                                 The Machine Age                                 
The roots of the Modern Movement can be traced back to the profound social and
technological changes which characterised the end of the 19th 
century and the beginning of the twentieth.
Cities in the western world were expanding. This urbanisation called for a new
approach to building- new technologies would have to be embraced, offering
cheaper, more efficient means of satisfying a larger population and a growing
number of industrial clients.  In the United States, the cities of Chicago and
New York had embraced tall metal-framed buildings in the second half of the 19
th century.  Louis Sullivan, one of the most prominent members of the
‘Chicago School’ of architects, coined the phrase “form follows function”, a
mantra for Modernists ever since.  Sullivan and his contemporaries built
astounding new skyscrapers, which would soon be a feature of cities across the
world.  But although these skyscrapers were modern, they were not modernist (Le
Corbusier criticised the Americans’ lack of urban planning).  The response of
European architects to the Americans’ technological advances (including bridges
and other building forms as well as skyscrapers) would lead to the development
of Modernism.
And in the early twentieth century, technological advances were rapidly
changing western society. Road and rail networks were altering the face of
modern countries, people were more mobile, goods and materials could be
transported across the world easily and quickly.  Reinforced concrete (a
strong and efficient material pioneered by Auguste Perret); this and the
availability of plate glass, meant that architects would soon be able to
celebrate this new technology in the buildings they were designing.
Machines, in the form of cars, telephones, and ocean liners captured the
public imagination, and emphasised the positive force that technology could
play in people’s lives.  In 1921, Le Corbusier described a house as “a
machine for living in”.  Le Corbusier and others believed that houses should
have the purity of form of a well-designed machine.  The formal qualities of
mass-produced cars and other machines were therefore of great interest to
                              The Shock of the New                              
Elsewhere in Europe, the short-lived De Stijl movement (1917-1931), a
collection of Dutch artists and architects, wanted to liberate the arts from
the shackles of tradition.  Other movements such as Art Nouveau (1893-1914)
and Expressionism (1912-1923) also experimented with bold, new forms and
ideas, and in Russia the Constructivists (1920-1932) emphasised honesty of
materials and functional simplicity in their (mostly public) buildings. These
movements appealed to many architects in Europe who felt that their
profession had become trapped in the past. They believed that the new machine
age demanded a new architecture.
In 1919, Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus School in Weimar, Germany.  This
academy of architecture and design, although only in existence for fourteen
years, established a tremendous reputation amongst the avant garde for its
creative approach to architecture and design, a reputation that lives on to
this day.  Gropius’ aims, as refined in 1923, in his text Idee und Aufbau, 
included the idea that workers in all the crafts should design for a better
world using the idea of machine production as a stimulus.  New thinking on
minimalist design and creating space was pioneered by Gropius’ fellow German
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, who famously declared “less is more”, and put his
dictum into practice with his seminal Barcelona Pavilion in 1929.
                              Imagining a New World                              
One year prior to Barcelona, with the nascent Movement determined to win over
a doubting public and architectural establishment, the Congres Internationaux
d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) had met for the first time.  An immensely
influential think-tank, CIAM sought to formalise the various roots of
Modernism into a coherent set of rules.  Its opening declaration called for
architecture to be rationalised and standardised, and to be seen in context
of economic and political realities.  In the years that followed, CIAM
produced many radical and ambitious documents which sought to place
architecture at the centre of economic and political discussions about
building a new and better world.
And with the backing of CIAM, the Modernists began their mission to make
architecture not simply about the building of buildings, but rather about the
construction of a new way of living.
     2.2 ARRIVAL 1928-1939                  
                               A Foreign Ideology                               
The Modern Movement in Britain was less visible in the decade or so after the
First World War than in other western European countries.  Whereas Le
Corbusier, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe and others were already established
architects on the continent, by the start of the 1930s, Britain could boast
few modernist projects of its own.
The early modernist achievements in this country were often the work of
émigré architects (for example, Germany’s Erich Mendelsohn and
the Russian born Serge Chermayeff, who collaborated on the De La Warr Pavilion
(1933-1935) in Bexhill).  This perhaps explains British suspicions that the
Modern Movement was a foreign invention, and therefore not to be entirely
trusted.  However, the founding of CIAM in 1928 not only gave modernists across
Europe confidence that their brave new world could be realised, it also
coincided with the arrival of modernist buildings in Britain.
                         A Future Which Must Be Planned                         
High and Over, a luxurious private house by New Zealander Amyas Connell, was
completed in 1931, and, in 1933 the Canadian Wells Coates and others
established the Modern Architectural Research Group (MARS).  MARS became was
the British wing of CIAM, and Coates was determined to bring to Britain the
same missionary zeal which was driving Modernism on the continent.  In 1933
he wrote; “As young men, we are concerned with a Future which must be planned
rather than a Past which must be patched up, at all costs.  As architects of
the ultimate human and material scenes of the new order, we are not so much
concerned with the formal problems of style as with an architectural solution
of the social and economic problems of today.”
Wells Coates himself tried to put his ideas into practice with his famous
Lawn Road Flats in Hampstead, London.  Also known as the “Isokon” Building
(after the furniture-making firm of Jack and Molly Pritchard, two modernist
enthusiasts who commissioned its construction), the Lawn Road Flats were a
bold experiment in communal living.  Opened in 1934, each flat was fitted out
with basic cooking and washing facilities, and a restaurant (the Isobar) was
designed to be a focal point for the tenants. The idea was that these modern
flats would cater for the new breed of modern man who liked to live and
travel light.
Lawn Road was superseded as the epitome of modern living by Highpoint One,
completed in 1935.  Designed by Russian émigré Berthold Lubetkin,
whose Tecton group of architects (which included Denys Lasdun) became famous
for their advocacy of modern architecture and design throughout the 1930s,
Highpoint One offered luxury living as well as providing tenants with
spectacular views across London from the residential rooftop garden.
                     Nothing Is Too Good For Ordinary People                     
But these projects catered for the middle classes.  It took a progressive
aristocrat, the ninth Earl De La Warr, to introduce the benefits of Modern
architecture to the wider community.  He held a competition to build a
‘modern’ pavilion in the south coast resort of Bexhill-on-Sea.  The
competition was won by the German Erich Mendelsohn and Russian Serge
Chermayeff, whose De La Warr Pavilion opened in 1935.   Shortly afterwards,
in 1937, Maxwell Fry’s Kensal House- the first modernist social housing
project in Britain- opened its doors for the first time.
And in 1938, Berthold Lubetkin designed the Finsbury Health Centre.  His
famous words “Nothing is too good for ordinary people” betrayed his communist
sympathies and emphasised the growing acceptance of Modernist architecture in
Britain.  Sited in one of the country’s poorest boroughs, the Health Centre
was at the forefront of advances in the delivery of public health services.
Opened only one year before the outbreak of World War Two, Finsbury Health
Centre hinted not just at the coming post-war consensus on social policy, but
also confirmed the arrival of Modernist architecture in Britain.
     2.3 POST-WAR OPTIMISM 1945-1960
                                   A New World                                   
Britain emerged from World War Two a different country to that which had
entered the conflict six long years previously.  Financially ruined,
physically exhausted, and facing a massive housing crisis, the British people
did not have their problems to seek in 1945.  But the end of the war also
engendered a tremendous sense of optimism in the country, a feeling that the
need to rebuild Britain was also an opportunity to build a new nation, and to
rectify the worst mistakes of the past.
For Modernist architects, this was the opportunity they had been waiting for.
Whereas during the 1930s they had struggled to convince the authorities and
the general public that their theories on building and town planning could
solve Britain’s divisive social problems, suddenly they found themselves in a
nation desperately searching for ambitious solutions to chronic problems and
eager to embrace modern life and modern ideas.
This enthusiasm for the future could be seen in the 1951 Festival of Britain,
a populist attempt to lift the spirits of the nation in the difficult post-
war years.  Originally scheduled to mark the centenary of the Great
Exhibition of 1851 the Festival became instead a giant paean to a better,
modern world.  Only the Royal Festival Hall remains from the original site.
It remains one of the most popular modernist buildings in Britain to this day
and is still the centrepiece of the arts complex which has grown up along the
South Bank since the Festival ended.
                                The Welfare State                                
As well as the success of the Festival, two Parliamentary Acts facilitated
the post-war embrace of Modernism: the Education Act of 1944 and the New
Towns Act of 1946.  By the mid-1950s, 2,500 schools had been built and ten
entirely new towns were either under construction or were on the drawing
board.  Town planning and the requirements of constructing a large number of
functional buildings in as short as period of time as possible opened the
door for Modernists to begin reshaping the appearance of British towns and
Two of the most prominent young architects of this era were the husband and
wife team of Peter and Alison Smithson.  The Smithsons were ferociously
intelligent and theorised about architecture as much as they practised it.
As well as being active in avant-garde cultural groups like the Independent
Group (which ushered in Pop Art), the Smithsons also fought their corner at
CIAM congresses in the post-war years, eventually breaking away from this
group in 1956.
The couple’s reputation at this time rested largely on their Secondary School
at Hunstanton, Norfolk.  Heavily influenced by Mies Van Der Rohe, the
school’s exposed steel structure, rigid lines, and acres of glass garnered
much favourable comment when it was completed in 1954.  The Secondary
School’s many imitators over the years have not diminished its striking
                             New Towns, New Country                             
But it was the attempt to create, by government act, entirely new communities
which gave modern architects their best chance to realise their utopian
vision, in which their rational, planned architecture would deliver British
city dwellers from the dark failures of Victorian housing to a bright new
world of clean, functional towns.  In 1955, the designation order was signed
for Britain’s last New Town- Cumbernauld in Lanarkshire.  Cumbernauld was a
utopian attempt to build a New Town that was genuinely new.  Strict zoning,
acres of motorway, and a town centre encased within an heroic Corbusian
megastructure, ensured that the architects who worked on the town felt like
genuine pioneers.  At last, the opportunity to build a new country was within
their grasp.
     2.4 DOUBTS (1953-1961)
                                Vision of Utopia                                
Modern Architecture has frequently been blamed for a catalogue of social
ills, and   images of rundown housing estates and tower blocks have become
synonymous with social decay and breakdown.  That the public reputation of
the architectural profession remains low can be attributed to the perceived
failures of much of Britain’s post-war housing.  Architects do, however, have
a defence.  Many of the offending tower blocks were ‘system-built’, i.e. they
were constructed with prefabricated sections bolted together on site,
according to a set enclosed instructions, and in a sense, architects were
often hardly involved in their construction at all.  Political pressure to
build in the post-war years also meant that many non-system built blocks were
constructed on the cheap, with cuts usually being made in the ‘service’ area
of estates.  Lack of adequate security and concierge facilities would prove
fatal to many of the ambitious estates in the 1950s and 1960s. Against this
background, it is perhaps worth noting that it was architects themselves who
first expressed doubts about the impact the Modernist project was having on
the community fabric.
Modernist town planning was heavily influenced by Le Corbusier’s Ville
Radieuse plan of 1933, which promised a future of sunshine, fresh air and
greenery for city-dwellers.  One of Britain’s most successful public housing
schemes, the Alton West Estate in Roehampton  (1958), was a conscious attempt
to bring the Ville Radieuse to Britain.  Le Corbusier’s new city would
consist of giant apartment blocks and green, landscaped spaces.  This was a
powerful vision of utopia in the immediate post-war years, when re-housing
families from crumbling Victorian slums to clean, modern apartments was a
political priority. The Ville Radieuse influenced CIAM’s Athens Charter
of 1933, a document whose grand rhetoric and idealism similarly extolled the
virtues of zoned cities and giant residential towers, and which cast a long
shadow over town planning in the years after World War Two.
                       The Short Narrow Street of the Slum                       
By the time CIAM held its ninth congress in 1953, younger architects led by
Alison and Peter Smithson had become frustrated by the Athens orthodoxy, and
were pushing for a rethink.  The Smithsons and their allies attacked the
utopianism of Le Corbusier and warned that Modernist Architecture was in
danger of damaging communities, eliminating neighbourliness, and ignoring the
basic human need of ‘belonging’.  They wrote; “The short narrow street of the
slum succeeds where spacious redevelopment frequently fails.”  In 1956, this
group finally broke with CIAM, and formed another architectural think-tank,
Team X.
The Smithsons concentrated their efforts on attempting to rectify the
shortfalls they saw in Modernist theory.  Their Golden Lane Housing Plan-
originally sketched out in 1952- consisted of low-rise “streets in the sky”
in which it was hoped that wide elevated galleries (‘streets’), and a
generally greater proximity to the ground would eliminate the worst failures
of Modernist orthodoxy.  In 1972, they realised their vision with Robin Hood
Gardens in east London. Ivor Lynn and Jack Smith’s Park Hill Estate in
Sheffield (1961) was designed with similar concerns in mind, and yet neither
of these projects were immune to the social problems which would engulf
housing estates in the future. Their Brutalist exteriors also meant that both
would become easy targets for critics.
                                  Street Spirit                                  
Meanwhile, Denys Lasdun was spending time in the narrow streets of Bethnal
Green in the East End of London, photographing the boisterous street life and
trying to work out how Modernists could preserve this community spirit within
their social housing projects.  His solution was the ‘cluster block’, of
which his biggest and best example is Keeling House.  Opened in 1957, Keeling
House consists of four tower blocks and a central service core.  The blocks
are arranged to look onto one another, and ‘hanging gardens’ are provided as
communal washing areas.  It was hoped that the atmosphere of the street
below, with busy neighbours frequently bumping into one another as they went
about their daily chores, would preserve the traditional community.  But
Keeling House was not immune to the problems of community breakdown and
vandalism which scarred many other estates, of all architectural types,
throughout the UK.
By 1961, doubts about the utopia which Modernism promised were not
sufficiently strong to halt Britain’s ambitious public house-building
projects.  But over the next twenty years, public criticism of modernist
architects and their work would reach such a ferocity that Modernism- as a
cogent philosophy of building a better society through architecture- was
almost universally agreed to have failed.
     2.5 THE BUBBLE BURSTS (1961-1979)
                         It Can Be Done, It Must Be Done                         
By the 1960s, Modernism had become the lingua franca of British architecture.
Schools, offices, homes, and even entire towns were all being constructed
using, to a greater or lesser extent, methods first advocated by Le
Corbusier, Mies Van Der Rohe and other pioneers.  Despite doubts expressed by
British architects like Alison and Peter Smithson and Denys Lasdun, public
building continued apace.  And despite the variety of Modernist buildings
which came into being at this time, it was the public housing programme which
would come to define Modernism, and damage almost beyond repair the
reputation of Modernist architecture.
The 1956 Housing Act had meant that a premium was paid to councils for
building blocks higher than five storeys: the higher the block, the greater
the subsidy.  In 1965, 383,000 new homes were built in Britain.  The Labour
Party’s 1966 general election manifesto promised; “In the next five years we
shall go further.  We have announced- and we intend to achieve- a target of
500,000 houses by 1969/70.  After that we shall go on to higher levels still.
It can be done - as other nations have shown.  It must be done- for bad and
inadequate housing is the greatest social evil in Britain today.” The
Conservatives competed with Labour in the housing numbers game until Margaret
Thatcher became leader.  The rush to build high and fast led to ‘system-
built’ blocks – prefabricated towers which could be assembled on site -
sprouting up across the country.
                             The Eyes On The Street                             
In 1961, American academic Jane Jacobs published “The Death and Life of Great
American Cities”.  Jacobs identified flaws in Modernist urban planning and
called for authorities to rethink their priorities, fast.  She compared
traditional neighbourhoods unfavourably with planned estates, noting that
high density, mixed districts, where people were within walking distance of
amenities and of each other, fostered a greater sense of community than did
modern estates where land use was segregated into zones, and where space and
meticulous planning had created barriers to human interaction.  Where people
are close together, a sense of community and safety- ‘the eyes on the street’
-existed.  In modern estates, a sense of anonymity and isolation prevailed.
In Britain, Pearl Jephcott’s study of residents in Glasgow’s Gorbals for the
Rowntree Trust (1971), found that whilst many residents preferred their new
accommodation to the terrible slums of the recent past, they worried about
the physical state of the blocks they lived in, as well as the loneliness and
isolation of high-rise living.
                                   Ronan Point                                   
The Ministry of Housing and Local Government tended to ignore Jacobs, and take
comfort in the positive aspects of Jephcott.  However, no-one could ignore what
happened at Ronan Point, a recently constructed tower block in east London, on
May 16th 1968.  A gas explosion caused a partial collapse, killing
four people.  The weakness of the system-built design meant that one side of
the building fell away like a giant pack of cards. Public unease with the
hundreds of similar blocks across the country spilled over into a backlash
against the architectural profession and the grand designs of the Modern
Movement which the public blamed, however unfairly, for Britain’s flimsy tower
When Hungarian émigré Erno Goldfinger unveiled his 31-storey
Brutalist monument Trellick Tower in 1972, the tide had already turned.
Modernists stood accused of building not only immensely ugly buildings, but of
destroying communities and even putting people’s lives at risk.   The end of
the long post-war boom in 1973 heralded the start of two decades of
intermittent recession and rising unemployment. New social problems would
fester in Modernist schemes across Britain.  The optimism of Le Corbusier,
Lubetkin, and Modernism’s early champions, the belief that their new
architecture would contribute to a better world for all, and the optimism of
the post war welfare state which had striven to make that vision real, were all
swept away in a torrent of bad buildings and economic crisis.  The Modernist
Dream, it seemed, was dead.
     2.6 POST-MODERNISM (1979-1992)
                                 Less Is A Bore                                 
The economic crises of the 1970s signalled the end of the post-war consensus
which viewed state intervention in economic and social aspects of people’s
lives as not only entirely acceptable, but entirely necessary.  Since 1945,
Modernist architects had benefited from this political outlook.  The need to
physically rebuild the country, and the desire to avoid the mistakes of the
past, coincided neatly with Modernist theories on planning and the
Modernists’ conviction that their architecture could engineer a better life
for the country’s citizens.  By the end of the 1970s, high-rise tower blocks,
planned housing schemes, New Towns, steel and glass office blocks and
schools, were common elements in the British urban landscape.
But Modernism’s ubiquity had led to its fall from favour.  Economic crises
were accompanied by social crises: unemployment, poverty, drug abuse,
alienation and family breakdown soon became synonymous in the public mind
with the Modernist housing estates which were supposed to banish such
problems forever.
Architects on both sides of the Atlantic began to look beyond the Modernist
orthodoxy. One of the earliest pioneers of the new ‘Post-Modern’ Movement was
American theorist and architect Robert Venturi.  His take on Mies Van Der
Rohe signalled his rejection of Modernist theory; “Less is not more”, he
wrote, “Less is a bore.”
                              A Monstrous Carbuncle                              
Venturi believed that buildings which attempted to be ahistorical were
somehow not as rich or as interesting as those which gave a conscious nod to,
or borrowed from, the past. The forests of standard apartment blocks and
glass towers which were the most obvious examples of the Modern canon seemed
to him humourless and soulless, lacking the vitality which diversity brings
to the urban landscape.  Venturi even talked up the architectural virtues of
Art Deco and admired the gaudiness of Las Vegas, Nevada.  A more striking
contrast to the pure, clinical work of Mies Van Der Rohe is hard to imagine.
Robert Venturi also found himself a bit-part player in one of the most famous
architectural arguments of recent years, when his firm was eventually given
the chance to design the Sainsbury Wing of London’s National Gallery.  In
1984 Prince Charles gave an address to the Royal Institute of British
Architects (RIBA) in which he described the proposed extension to the
building as “a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant
friend.”  The Prince went on; “Why can’t we have those curves and arches that
express feeling in design?  What is wrong with them?  Why has everything got
to be vertical, straight, unbending, only at right angles- and functional?”
                                Forks in the Road                                
The Prince’s intervention shocked the architectural establishment, and was
cheered by the public.  The speech also proved to be something of a launch-
pad for a royal crusade against Modernist Architecture, the concrete result
of which was Poundbury, a village development in Dorchester which rejected
every precept of the Modern Movement and instead attempted to recreate an
archetypal English country village, complete with narrow, winding streets and
traditional stone cottages.
By now, many architects had long since abandoned Modernism.  Canary Wharf
Tower, a monument to 1980s corporatism, echoed an earlier classicism; Terry
Farrell’s MI6 Building and his TV-AM Studios in London threw the Modernist
rulebook out of the window.  And the two most prominent British architects of
the era, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, whilst considering themselves to
be committed Modernists, were virtually alone in being able to attract
private clients to continue building in the Modernist tradition.  These
differing paths meant that by the start of the 1990s, the once ubiquitous
Modern Movement, which had promised an international architecture, was
crowded out by the resurgent heritage movement, by post-modern humour, and by
the triumph of private capital over the public purse.
     2.7 REVIVAL (1993-  )
The legacy of the Modern Movement is obvious in every British town or city
today.  The thoughts of Le Corbusier and the influence of Mies Van Der Rohe
can be seen in High Streets and suburbs the length and breadth of the
country.  Yet public reaction to the great Modernist experiment remains
ambivalent at best, and hostile at worst. Prince Charles’ complaint that
Modern Buildings don’t have enough curves, Robert Venturi’s gripes that
Modernism’s legacy is soulless and predictable, and Jane Jacob’s warnings of
isolation and social breakdown, are now all commonly accepted criticisms of
the Modern Movement by the public at large.
And yet the last decade of the twentieth century saw the beginnings of a
revival in the standing of Modernist Architecture. Buildings which were once
almost universally scorned have become popular, and architects once lambasted
as agents of social collapse have seen their reputations restored.
One of the first to benefit from this reappraisal was Trellick Tower, Erno
Goldfinger’s 31 storey tall Brutalist slab in west London.  Once dubbed the
“Tower of Terror” by the tabloids, Trellick had become a byword for urban
squalor and was widely viewed as a spectacular example of architectural
megalomania.  Now, thanks largely to a well-organised residents’ association,
and the installation of basic security measures, including a concierge,
apartments in the building are selling for several hundred thousand pounds
each.  Although most of the block’s flats are still publicly owned, Trellick
has become a pop culture icon, printed on t-shirts and featured in pop songs,
as well as one of the trendiest addresses in London.
Also newly respectable is Keeling House, Denys Lasdun’s cluster block in east
London.  Now a wholly private development, Keeling House’s council tenants have
been replaced by young professionals keen to find a base near to the City of
London, and able to pay in excess of £200,000 for the privilege.
Penthouse apartments have been installed on the roof.  Initially conceived as
an attempt to mitigate the potentially alienating effects of Modernist design,
Keeling House tells us more about the booming economy of the 1990s than the
social idealism of the 1950s.
                                  What’s Left?                                  
But as well as the gradual gentrification of Modernist icons, there has also
been a rediscovery of the social purpose of Modernism, after a decade or more
in which the public sector was eclipsed by the private sector as the sponsor
of innovative architecture.  The award-winning Will Alsop considers himself a
Modernist even though his most famous buildings, such as the Peckham Library
and Media Centre, appear to be the antithesis of the sober Modernist style.
Alsop’s work with public sector clients, often in run down urban locations,
suggests that the most talented British architects, after a decade of working
largely on prestigious corporate projects, have rediscovered the value of
public architecture.  The Lawn Road Flats will be renovated in 2001, with
twenty-five of the thirty-six apartments intended to form part of the ‘Key
Workers’ housing policy: i.e. they will be reserved for teachers, nurses,
policemen and other public sector workers who might otherwise struggle in the
inflated London property market.
This apparent revival comes a full seven decades after the first Modernist
buildings were constructed in this country, and three decades after
derivative system-built high rises nearly destroyed the Modern Movement for
good.  In seventy years, the landscape of Britain has changed beyond
recognition, and much of the change can be attributed to Le Corbusier and
other pioneers.  Mistakes have been made on the way, and the vision of a
utopia sketched out by Le Corbusier many years ago has never been realised.
That has been the fate of all of the twentieth century’s utopias.   However,
what is left is more than just a collection of remarkable buildings, there
also remains a conviction that architects can and should constantly strive to
improve the quality of life of their fellow citizens through their buildings.