Marcel Breuer (1902–1981) is one of the most important architects and designers of the second generation of Modernism. Yet today, more than 35 years after his death, Breuer is most often remembered for his furniture designs, while his architectural works have largely disappeared from disciplinary discourse. Breuer may be said to have stood between the first generation of modernists, such as Mies van der Rohe, whose accomplishments he matched, and the second generation of modernists such as Louis Kahn, who were his true contemporaries. Yet Breuer could be said not to belong either to the first or second generation, never embracing what he characterized as the dogmatic modernism of the glass curtain wall, but also rejecting the idea that modern architecture was a monolithic conception. Having begun his career with his 1934 lecture critiquing modernism from the inside, Breuer consistently rejected the critiques of modernism coming from the outside during the last 25 years of his career, when modernism was declared to be dead, and practitioners such as Breuer were labeled “late modernists.” Standing between the first and the last moderns, Breuer may be understood as the last of the first moderns and the first of the last moderns.
How to cite: Theatron Vol. 15, No. 4. (2021): 69–76.
Cím/Title (ENG): Marcel Breuer: Last of the First Moderns / First of the Last Moderns