Oscar Niemeyer was at the end of 2007 one century old - he celebrated that year by having a building Teatro Popular in Niteroi inaugurated. This still actively working doyen of world’s architects is also the last of modern architecture’s dominant figures. Having in his early days admired Le Corbusier, he soon released himself from his influence and with the elegant soft curves of constructions gave the architecture of 20th century’s second half a more visual streak. For most people, the name Niemeyer evocates the birth of his country’s new capital Brasilia, in terms of town planning and architecture one of last century’s greatest deeds. To be able to come up with a totally new project according to one’s ideas is perhaps a dream of every architect but few have the chance to do so, Niemeyer having been the exception. The strange thing is that today, he is not sure about the qualities of his city, possibly because as he himself says, life is more important than architecture. Still, the visual impact of Brasilia has not vanished and this great poem written with reinforced concrete and steel, in refined space links as its basic forms go, remains one of architecture’s most photogenic pieces.
Damjan Prelovšek is known primarily as an expert on the work of Josip Plečnik, being the author of many books as well as exhibitions regarding this architect, a fact that also brought him to the Czech Republic as Slovenia’s ambassador. Now he presents himself in another position. He had already demonstrated an exquisite feeling for architecture and it’s specific visual values by his photographs of Plečnik‘s work so it comes as no surprise that he also became thrilled by Brasilia and its buildings which combined Modernism and Regionalism (it is namely this combination, that Vladimír Brado Mušič writes about from the perspective of Slovenian architecture in the catalogue). Prelovšek has not prepared a tourist guide, what he shows us is the poetry of architecture, the way it is presenting itself as well as the impressions it evokes. This is an exhibition of both photographs and architecture.
The exhibition was prepared by National Gallery of Slovenia in Ljubljana. We are very pleased a honoured by the fact that Prague is the second place where it is presented to the public.
Exhibition catalogue is available.