Le Corbusier made these remarks in an interview in 1962. He viewed himself primarily as a plastic artist. In creative work he made no distinction between painting, sculpture and architecture – which he viewed as a single whole. “I paint pictures that are by nature sculptures,” he claimed.
In the winter of 1966, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Oslo presented a major exhibition about Le Corbusier – a commemoration of the architect just a few months after his death. For this, the curator and architect Robert Esdaile built an exhibition pavilion within the museum as a setting for reproductions of architectural models, sculptures and paintings. It was time the Norwegian public opened its eyes to Le Corbusier’s varied production! Esdaile had also purchased ten original lithographs from the last years of Le Corbusier’s life. These would become highlights of this commemorative exhibition.
For the first time since 1966, those artworks are on show again. In “Le Corbusier – Lithography”, the National Museum expands its focus on the links between Le Corbusier’s architecture and visual art. Whereas “Le Corbusier by the Sea” at Villa Stenersen presents works from the 1930s, this exhibition concentrates on the 1950s and 60s. Similar curved shapes crop up repeatedly in Le Corbusier’s work during this period – in his architecture, sculptures, paintings and lithographs.
In 1955, the international architectural community was shocked by the sculptural and so-called irrational forms of the chapel that Le Corbusier unveiled at Ronchamp. Here that building is seen through the “eyes” of Norwegian architects, with photographs from the collection and press reviews from the time. The lithographs from the commemorative exhibition in Oslo are displayed alongside documentary materials from that event.
The lithographs are on loan from the art collection of the City of Oslo. For the occasion of the exhibition the works have recently been conserved.