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Inhaltsangabe: "Jean-Jacques Lequeu does in fact hide behind the most enigmatic and controversial smile in the history of art," writes Philippe Duboy in a book that is one of the most tantalizing examples of architectural investigation ever produced.
It is an extraordinary compilation - part speculative biography, part meticulous research, with hundreds of intriguing drawings, many in color - that unravels the mystery of this eighteenth-century maverick artist whose drawings have established him variously as a visionary architect associated with Boullée and Ledoux, forerunner of surrealism, and inventor of bad taste.
Lequeu's architectural drawings from the legendary portfolios Architecture civile and Nouvelle methode are presented here in their entirety, along with his "Lewd Figures," perhaps the oddest feature of the whole collection. The drawings are accompanied by long captions, misspelt and ungrammatical, but written in a flawless bureaucratic hand. The artist's marginalia provide insights into his visions, which seem dominated by an obsession with petrified forms and a recurring preoccupation with sex. Interleaved with the drawings are curious autobiographical papers. And it is here that Duboy's investigation of Lequeu begins to reveal strange clues.
He discovers that Lequeu was not an architect at all but a government bureaucrat, a draftsman who ended up living in a brothel. Between the brothel and the obscure office from which he was eventually fired, he produced his "encyclopedia of the universe" - bizarre portraits of nuns baring their breasts and other lewd figures, and architectural fantasies of vast imaginary cities.
Duboy takes his study further, into the realm of Charles Fourier and his brother-in-law Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and from there to the world of the dadaists, surrealists, and futurists, particularly the circles of Marcel Duchamp and Le Corbusier. He suggests that Duchamp and Raymond Rousell tampered with the Lequeu drawings to concoct a character and oeuvre even more puzzling. There are glimpses of Duchamp's convolutions of mind that will stir a reassessment of his work. "Duchamp emerges here, for the first time, as an intrepid and unwavering despiser of Le Corbusier. Twentieth-century reputations are as much at stake in this study as those of the eighteenth-century artist," notes Robin Middleton.
Philippe Duboy is Professor of the History of Cities, Paris-Belleville School of Architecture.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
Titel: Lequeu: An Architectural Enigma
Verlag: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Zustand: very good
Buchbeschreibung Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, 1986. Cloth. Buchzustand: Fine. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Terracotta colour cloth with title in gilt on spine. Condition: Fine. Dustjacket condition: Very good, with very light shelfwear. 367pp. 420 illustrations, 8 in colour.Jean Jacques Lequeu (1757-1826) was a rather eccentric architect and draughtsman whose volumes of drawings now reside in the Bibliotheque Nationale, in Paris. His designs represent the communal dwellings, palaces and civic monuments of a vast imaginary city. Many of these drawings, including the complete Architecture Civile, were reproduced in this book for the first time. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 005524
Buchbeschreibung Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1986. Buchzustand: Very Good. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good. Book measures 12 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches. 367 pages, illustrated throughout. Bound in original publishers burgundy cloth. Very slight lean on spine. Binding in very good clean firm condition. Dust jacket lightly rubbed on edges. Jacket in very good clean condition. Internally, pages in good clean condition. A very nice clean copy. Size: Large Quarto. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 096685
Buchbeschreibung Thames & Hudson 1986, London, 1986. Hardback. Buchzustand: Very Good. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good. 4to. 367 pp., 420 illustrations 8 in colour. Increasingly scarce work. Forward by Robin Middleton. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 42149