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'But art has nothing to do with forgery, with lies. The paths of art may be thorny, but they are clean.'
Ornament and Crime comprises a selection of essays by celebrated Viennese architect, Adolf Loos, and cover the full range of design - from architecture to jewellery, pottery to plumbing, craft training to printing. A great enthusiast and great hater, Loos and his ideas were absolutely fundamental to 20th century aesthetics, as well as being very enjoyable to read. He extols heroes and denigrates villains, as he makes quite clear- 'If you want to have a contemporary craft, if you want to have contemporary utility objects, then poison the architects'.
The Penguin on Design series includes the works of creative thinkers whose writings on art, design and the media have changed our vision forever.
Adolf Loos (1877-1933) was a leading Austro-Hungarian architect, perhaps most famous for the revolutionary 'Loos House' opposite the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, which caused outrage when it was built in 1912, and the wonderful American Bar, also in Vienna. He wrote extensively on architecture and design, working in reaction to the elaborate mass of decoration celebrated by the Vienna Secession movement.
Joseph Masheck, modern art and architectural historian and critic, and sometime editor-in-chief of Artforum, was awarded the 2018 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Artof the College Art Association.
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