23 May 2011

Bruno Taut in Madrid

Aedificare necesse est, uiuere non est necesse.
Bruno Taut.

Of course Bruno Taut is a nom de plume –no pun intended, though. I adopted it years ago when I started another blog on Japan. His name came in handy after visiting the Katsura Villa in Kyoto.

Westerners in Japan tend to feel a mixture of fascination and confusion about the new realm to which they are exposed. And many, from Lafcadio Hearn to Donald Richie to Ian Buruma, chose to write on Japan in an attempt to make sense of it. Bruno Taut’s story, though, was similar and unique at the same time. He fled the very hostile Germany of the early 1930s and chose Japan as his destination instead of traveling west —key word for the US— like most other artists at the time. During his time in Japan he wrote extensively on Japanese architecture and, especially, about the Katsura Imperial Villa. In actual terms, he discovered it for the Western World. Bruno Taut settled down in Takasaki –Gunma prefecture--, where he worked for the Takasaki Kogeisho Industrial Arts Center.

In 1936, he left Japan for his other love, Turkey, where he died in 1938.

These days (between April 24 and July 17, 2011), the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid offers the possibility to revisit this architect. This exhibit on Bruno Taut, though, is not focused on any of his Oriental works but on his more theoretical and utopic work from the late 1910s—his book Alpine Architektur, an interesting exploration of modernity.

(Pilot 1998 Capless model with steel F nib – Montblanc Irish Green)

Bruno Taut
May 15th, 2011
[labels: metabitácora, Japón]

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