Modern vs. Postmodern Architecture Essay

1613 Words 7 Pages
If modernism and postmodernism are arguably two most distinguishing movements that dominated the 20th century Western art, they are certainly most exceptional styles that dominated the global architecture during this period. While modernism sought to capture the images and sensibilities of the age, going beyond simple representation of the present and involving the artist’s critical examination of the principles of art itself, postmodernism developed as a reaction against modernist formalism, seen as elitist. “Far more encompassing and accepting than the more rigid boundaries of modernist practice, postmodernism has offered something for everyone by accommodating wide range of styles, subjects, and formats” (Kleiner 810).
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“In parallel with the progressive movement toward formal abstraction in painting and sculpture in the decades following World War II, modernist architects became increasingly concerned with a formalism that stressed simplicity. They articulated this in buildings that retained intriguing organic sculptural qualities, as well as in buildings that adhered to a more rigid geometry” (Kleiner 778). There are numerous ingenious and revolutionary works that led the American Institute of Architects to distinguish Frank Lloyd Wright as the greatest American architect of all time, but among the 1141 works Wright designed during his 70 years long remarkable career, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City perhaps stands apart by its grandiosity, eloquence, and elegance. Envisioned as an exhibition building and luxury apartment complex for the Guggenheim Foundation’s first museum - The Museum of Non-Objective Painting - in 1943, Wright’s remarkable artwork, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and overlooking Central Park, by its official opening in 1959 has developed into a permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art, as well as into one of the architectural landmarks of the 20th century. Museum’s proximity to Manhattan’s only significant green area perfectly suited Wright’s vision of implementing organic

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