Galerie Philia is delighted to present Héritages, an exceptional exhibition of art and design at the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille, also known as ‘La Cité Radieuse’, by the father of modern architecture Le Corbusier.
Running from 7 May to 2 July 2022 and coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the 1952 residential housing masterpiece, the exhibition marks a first-time collaboration between Galerie Philia and the nomadic arts magazine Eclipse.
Héritages unfolds across two adjacent rooms, in an apartment with large bay windows built upon Le Corbusier’s Modulor proportion system and around the concepts of ‘resonances’ and ‘dissonances’. Through the work of several artists and designers, the exhibition aims to offer a creative visual response to Le Corbusier’s modernist theories, which have been questioned, endorsed, and criticised at once – hence the ideas of resonance and dissonance – and to reflect on his influences on contemporary design and the visual arts.
Galerie Philia commissioned eight international designers to produce new works that explore, rethink and reinterpret Le Corbusier’s urbanistic, architectural and decorative principles, while Eclipse magazine selected an ensemble of modern and contemporary artworks by six visual artists to illustrate Le Corbusier’s affiliation and footprint on the visual arts.
In the first room dedicated to ‘resonances’, the new furniture designs can be seen as a continuation of Le Corbusier’s legacy and historical heritage, responding harmoniously to his aesthetics. Highlights include a Le Corbusier-inspired vase by Rick Owens, known for his clean lines and brutalist signature, an armchair by Pietro Franceschini with pure yet functional volumes, and a minimalist sculptural daybed by Arno Declerq made of steel, a material often used by the celebrated architect. Indian designer Paul Matter, whose work is deeply influenced by the architecture of the Palace of Assembly in Chandigarh, presents a brass light based on the mathematical and precise measures of The Modulor. Three artworks, reflecting Le Corbusier’s pictorial style and echoing his theorization of the harmony of forms, complete the display. They include works by Edgar Sarin and Mateo Revillo, and the original engraving ‘Le Chevalier ‘(1948) by Pablo Picasso.
The second room dedicated to ‘dissonances’ features sculptural and visual works that reflect critically on Le Corbusier’s theories of standardization and regularity. These include the ceramic table by Jojo Corväiá, full of irregularities and cracks, the notched and iridescent pedestal table in salt by Roxane Lahidji, the sculpted oak work by Jérôme Pereira exploring the question of balance always in motion, and the hammered bronze candlesticks by Niclas Wolf. Eclipse here selected drawings by modern artist Sam Szafran and contemporary artists Fabrice Hyber and Flora Temnouche to emphasize the importance of oscillations in visual arts. Hyber’s paintings made with vegetal resins, depict volatile convolutions of intertwined leaves, and Szafran’s and Temnouche’s drawings on paper feature interior landscapes in which the precision of the line serves a confused and diluting whole.