Form to frame

An aerial view of Chandigarh

Not many planners have made such a great impact as Le Corbusier on a city. The very name of the city he planned and built is so closely attached to his name as well. Anyone who travels to the city is gifted a totally different feel and experience as far as the aesthetics is concerned.

“The name Chandigarh is closely etched along with its very famous designer Le Corbusier. He was a visionary far ahead of his times. This is a good opportunity to learn more about his work”, says Ralph Andrade, a visitor at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Bangalore and an avid fan of Corbusier’s works.

Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light, so said the master architect. True to his vision and words, the photographs on display bring out the best in form and shape.

Charles Edouard Jeanneret more known as Le Corbusier was invited by India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to make what he called something which would represent a modern and independent nation.

Le Corbusier not only designed Chandigarh but also few buildings like the Sanskar Kendra Museum and Mill Owners’ Association Building in Ahmedabad.

The exhibition which has a collection of photographs taken by the man himself aims to depict the man and how he aced urban planning. Many of the photographs explore how Le Corbusier used the medium of photography as a way of note-taking.

The city of Chandigarh which has sixty sectors and nine axial roads is self contained so well that the residents need not have to commute much. An orderly grid system and wide boulevards connect the sectors with schools, shops and entertainment centres.

“His vision of an urban setting is really amazing. The very fact that the city remains so organised shows the clear details he got in planning a city like Chandigarh”, says Mr Kuruvilla Varghese, architect and former advisor to government of Kuwait on city planning.

The show had over hundred rare photographs and features various sections like biography, portrait of life and the secret photographer and is part of a travelling exhibition commemorating his 50th death anniversary.

Musee des beaux-arts of Switzerland joined hands with the Swiss embassy in India to bring this first ever show of  his very rare photographs which was shown in public for the first time only in 2012.

The rare photographs were explained well with ample text. A series of films on the life of the Swiss architect was part of  the exhibition.

Le Corbusier – Mastering the Image was held at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Palace Road, Bangalore. 

Simon Varghese


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