Complexity and Contradiction at Fifty: Robert Venturi's "Gentle Manifesto"
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Edited by Martino Stierli, David Brownlee. Text by Jean-Louis Cohen, Lee Ann Custer, Peter Fröhlicher, Diane Harris, Andrew Leach, Mary McLeod, Stanislaus von Moos, Joan Ockman, Emmanuel Petit, Martino Stierli. Contributions by Sam Jacob, Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, Michael Meredith, Pier Paolo Tamburelli, Deborah Berke. Interviews with Rem Koolhaas, Stanley Tigerman.
Now available in its original edition along with critical commentary, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture is the founding text of postmodernism in architecture
First published in 1966, Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, widely considered the foundational text of postmodernism, has become an essential document in architectural theory and criticism.
This new two-volume boxed set presents a facsimile of the original edition paired with a compendium of new scholarship on and around Venturi’s seminal treatise.
The ten selected essays, a number of which were presented at a three-day international conference co-organized by MoMA to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Complexity and Contradiction in 2016, address diverse issues, such as the book’s relationship to Venturi’s own built oeuvre and its significance in the contemporary landscape. Additional short commentaries by contemporary practitioners attest to Complexity’s enduring influence on architectural practice. Together, these two volumes expand the horizons of—and introduce a new generation to—Venturi’s “gentle manifesto.”
David B. Brownlee is Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Out of the Ordinary: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates; Architecture, Urbanism, Design (with David G. De Long and Kathryn B. Hiesinger, 2001).
Jean-Louis Cohenhas been a professor at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts since 1994. He is the author of some 40 books, including Architecture in Uniform (2011) and The Future of Architecture since 1889: A Worldwide History (2012), and the editor of Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes (2013).
Lee Ann Custer is a doctoral candidate in history of art at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in the art, architecture, and urbanism of the United States. For the 2018-19 academic year, she is a Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellow in American Art. Her current research focuses on the development and imaging of the modern metropolis.
Peter Fröhlicher is former Professor of Romance literatures at the University of Konstanz, Professor of French literature at the University of Zurich and Dean of its Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He has published work on Spanish Baroque literature, contemporary Latin American fiction and French poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Dianne Harris is senior program officer in the Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities program at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York. She is the editor of Second Suburb: Levittown, Pennsylvania (2010) and the author of Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America (2013), among other titles.
Andrew Leach is Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney. His recent books include Crisis on Crisis, or Tafuri on Mannerism (2017) and Gold Coast: City and Architecture (2018). He is the coeditor of The Baroque in Architectural Culture, 1880-1980 (2015) and On Discomfort: Moments in a Modern History of Architectural Culture (2017).
Mary McLeod is Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, where she teaches architectural history and theory. Her research and publications focus on contemporary architecture theory and the history of the modern movement. Besides editing and contributing to Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living (2003), she is the coeditor of the website Pioneering Women of American Architecture.
Stanislaus von Moos is Professor Emeritus of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Zurich. He has published on Italian Renaissance architecture and on modern architecture and design in Switzerland, and is the author of Le Corbusier: Elements of a Synthesis (1968), Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown: Buildings and Projects (1987), and Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates: Buildings and Projects, 1986-1998 (1999).
Joan Oakman teaches at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and at The Cooper Union School of Architecture. Among the books she has edited are Architecture School: Three centuries of Educating Architects in North America (2012) and Architecture Culture, 1943-1968: A Documentary Anthology (1993).
Emmanuel Petit has taught architectural design and theory at Yale, Harvard, MIT, University College London, and the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. He is the author of Irony, or, the Self-Critical Opacity of Post-modern Architecture (2013) and the editor of books on Philip Johnson, Colin Rowe and Stanley Tigerman, as well as on formalism in architecture.
Martino Stierli is Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. He is the author of Las Vegas in the Rearview Mirror: The City in Theory, Photography, and Film (2013) and Venturis Grand Tour: Zur Genealogie der Postmoderne (2011) and the coeditor of Las Vegas Studio: Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (2008).