Revolution of Forms, updated edition
Cuba's Forgotten Art Schools
Publication date 5/23/2011
7.5 x 11 inches (19.1 x 27.9 cm), Paperback
232 pages, 44 color illustrations, 134 b/w illustrations
Carton qty: 18;
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Prior to the publication of Revolution of Forms in 1999, few were aware that the most outstanding architectural achievement of the Cuban Revolution, the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (National Art School), stood neglected just outside Havana. Three architects who aimed to reinvent architecture just as the revolution hoped to reinvent society were commissioned. However, before construction was completed, the school was subjected to an ideological attack that branded it as not in keeping with anti-revolutionary ideals. The organic complex of brick and terra-cotta Catalan-vaulted structures was abandoned, until the original publication of Revolution of Forms brought it to the attention of the world and swayed the Cuban government to commit to its restoration. This updated edition of the classic book adds a new preface, epilogue, and a revised chronology to the first edition's numerous photographs, drawings, and interviews.
John A. Loomis is an architect, author, and educator at San Jose State University. His writings have appeared in Design Book Review, Casabella, and Progressive Architecture, among others. Loomis holds a Bachelor of Arts in art history from Stanford University and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.
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"Twelve years after its first edition, John Loomis gladly and surprisingly reports that his book had the unintended consequence of the preservation and restoration of the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte designed by Ricardo Porro, Roberto Gottardi , and Vittorio Garatti. A history of the schools is followed by extensive illustrations of the buildings through photographs and drawings. One chapter focuses on the acknowledgment of "other modernisms," something echoed in a recent A/N commentary by Carlos Brillembourg. The book is clearly a labor of love, which, it should be noted, has a companion website."
BOOK NEWS, Inc.:
"The updated edition of this intriguing and beautiful work on the National Art Schools of Cuba provides information on action and awareness generated by the original printing and explores efforts to restore this politically and physically neglected manifestation of the optimism of the early years of the Cuban revolution. The volume explores the brilliant architecture of the art school complex and includes numerous color photographs of the derelict structures as well as historical photos and architectural drawings. The text also examines the ideological and political conditions that led to the building of the unique facility as well as the forces that led to its abandonment."
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