Brutalism is a style of architecture which was part of the International Style of Architecture that demanded a different approach towards architectural design. The term New Brutalism was first applied in 1953 by the British architects, Peter Smithson and Alison Smithson. These two architects along with Eduardo Paolozzi, Nigel Henderson, Richard Hamilton and James Sterling among others, formed the Independent Group, and in the same year, organized the exhibition ‘Parallel to Life and Art’ held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. New Brutalism has come to acquire strong political associations in Sau Paulo and elsewhere, with many architectural projects being conceived in this aesthetic. In some instances, its sublime qualities extend from churches to a flower-shop.
The lecture will consider the ideas of New Brutalism in the context of the Group and the ICA, and the limitations of this conception. Expanding on the origin of the term (Jean Dubuffet), and its relation to certain continental preoccupations with age-old aesthetic qualities, the speaker will connect to other movements such as Outsider Art or Art Brut. This presentation will also seek to connect the recent search for a rhetoric of materiality and temporality with age-old preoccupations in art and architecture, and the debates which brought about the demise of some key buildings, conceived and executed by Brutalists. References will also be made to the Metabolists, which was a group formed by young Japanese architects and city planners in the late 1950s, and as much pioneers as Le Corbusier. In a certain sense, this presentation is conceived as a contribution to the ongoing debate on the subject, and will also discuss such architecture in England and India.
Admission free and open to all | In collaboration with StudioX, Mumbai