Joan Ockman

  • the writings of Josep Lluís Sert

    The Writings of Josep Lluís Sert, edited by Eric Mumford. New Haven: Yale University Press; Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2015. 184 pages.

    JOSEP LLUÍS SERT belongs to a middle generation of modern architects whose reputations have not fared all that well over the past half century. Groomed by such early-twentieth-century giants as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and the Swiss historian Sigfried Giedion and straddling the historical divide of World War II, Sert and his peers tend to be pegged as epigones, their expansion and revision of modernist ideology overshadowed by a far

  • Applause and Effect

    TWO YEARS AGO I made the trek to Bilbao to find out what all the commotion was about. I went with my critical antennae poised because the slavish adulation was getting irritating. The Bilbao Effect was visible everywhere, from professional journals to travel magazines to middlebrow glossies (the New Yorker was organizing group tours), from the cover of the New York Times Magazine to polemics like Victoria Newhouse's Towards a New Museum. Newhouse's book culminates with Frank Gehry, of course, and the allusion in her title is to Le Corbusier's revolutionary tract (was she implying that museums