Reyner Banham: Historian of the Immediate Future.

Whiteley, N .S. (2002) Reyner Banham: Historian of the Immediate Future. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.. ISBN 0 262 23216 2

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This monograph, the first scholarly critical analysis of Reyner Banham (1922-1988), 'one of the twentieth century's most important critics of architecture and material culture' (Thomas Hines, TLS), is central to Whiteley's interest in changing cultural values in the visual arts in the second half of the 20th century. It deals with the continuities and changes in Banham's values regarding visual culture and ideas between the early 1950s and late 1980s. A methodological issue was how to deal with the diversity of Banham's 800+ articles and dozen monographs, and establish a coherent text. Nicholas Adams in The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians concluded that the material was 'brilliantly handled,' while Andrew Wilson (Art Monthly) thought Whiteley's 'impressive mastery of both his sources and the sheer diversity of Banham's interests makes for compelling reading.' Stephen Howard in the Journal of Design History suggested that Whiteley 'has demonstrated his characteristic flair for clarity and organisation.' The book has received critical attention from, for example: Prof Robert Fishman (The Washington Post) 'Whiteley's brilliant analysis' has the energy and scope of Banham's best writing.'; The Harvard Design Magazine 'brilliant new biography'; and Nicholas Adams in The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians ''Whiteley's brilliant discussion of the Independent Group truly creates intellectual space around Banham.' Prof Hal Foster in the London Review of Books wrote about Whiteley's 'expert account', and similar sentiments were echoed in the TLS ('excellent study'); Domus ('excellent project'); Artforum ('excellent response'); Architectural Record ('excellent job'); Visual Culture ('heroic work'); Design Issues ('cogently critical'); and the Los Angeles Times ('authoritative intellectual biography.'). The book's introduction was translated and published in Les Cahiers du Mus'e national d'art moderne (no.82, Winter 2002/2003, pp.66-89). RAE_import_type : Authored book RAE_uoa_type : LICA
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29 Feb 2008 11:01
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12 Sep 2023 03:34