Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Pencil and cut-and-pasted printed paper (a detail from Georges Braque's "Fruit Dish, Sheet Music, and Pitcher," 1926) on board
30 x 40"
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures in the development of modern architecture. Operating on a principle of “less is more,” he utilized materials such as industrial steel and plate glass in his strikingly minimal designs, which are notably free of decorative forms. As director of the German Bauhaus during the early 1930s, Mies formalized his notion of unifying form with function. In 1937 he immigrated to Chicago, where he became director of the School of Architecture at the Armour Institute of Technology (later the Illinois Institute of Technology). His legacy is still felt in the school’s program of stressing the fundamentals, materials, and function of architectural design. This Court House Study depicts a vast, open interior in which two slender columns provide the only visible means of support. The wide-angle perspective emphasizes the building’s strong horizontal character. A nearly seamless wall of glass fills living areas with light and dissolves the boundary between interior and exterior. —The Art Institute of Chicago