Moment – Le Corbusier’s Secret Laboratory

Moment – Le Corbusier’s Secret Laboratory

Moderna Museet

Le Corbusier, I was dreaming (first version), 1953. © Le Corbusier/BUS 2013.

January 19, 2013

Moment – Le Corbusier’s Secret Laboratory
19 January–18 April 2013

Moderna Museet
Box 16382
SE-103 27 Stockholm
Hours: Tuesday 10–8pm
Wednesday–Sunday 10–6pm

Moderna Museet is making room for Le Corbusier and the first exhibition in Northern Europe covering his entire oeuvre. We all know that Le Corbusier is the most important architect of the 20th century, but comparatively few are aware that he was also a practising artist. The exhibition Moment – Le Corbusier’s Secret Laboratory is a unique opportunity to discover the full range of his output—with rarely shown sculptures and paintings that shed new light on his most famous projects. 

Moment – Le Corbusier’s Secret Laboratory highlights two seemingly disparate pursuits of Le Corbusier (born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, 1887–1965): his glorification of mechanical objects and his quest for lyrical form. Our exhibition shows how this complex relationship developed, from his study travels around Europe in his youth, to his later works, and how his artistic practice is reflected in his architecture. At the centre of attention is Le Corbusier’s artist’s studio—his “secret laboratory.”

The exhibition has five different themes. Each part deals with a vital step in Le Corbusier’s output: his purist paintings and the 1920s villas; his rediscovery of common values in the 1930s; his search for artistic synthesis after 1945; and the complex retrospection in his later works. Special attention will be given to Le Corbusier’s Swedish connections. His proposal for the urban plan for Lower Norrmalm in Stockholm (1933) and the museum he designed for the Ahrenberg collection (1962) are compared to related plans and projects. Moment – Le Corbusier’s Secret Laboratory comprises a variety of media and formats. The 200 works include paintings, landscape drawings, still-lifes, portraits, sculptures, textiles, architectural drawings, building and urban planning models, books and photographs. 

“Moderna Museet is pursuing its aim to generate a dialogue between the fine arts and other disciplines. Le Corbusier is a key figure when it comes to understanding 20th-century modernity and contemporary living, and the way that many of his ideas were born in his painter’s studio is a revelation. We are delighted to have Jean-Louis Cohen, the world’s leading expert on Le Corbusier, working on this exhibition with us,” says Daniel Birnbaum, director of Moderna Museet.

The curator of the exhibition is Jean-Louis Cohen, professor at the New York University and author of numerous books on Le Corbusier. Cohen initiated the exhibition at the Centre Pompidou to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Le Corbusier’s birth. He is currently involved in the preparations for Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes, which is set to open at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in June 2013. The associate curator is Pascal Mory, who has been in charge of several major architectural exhibitions, including Towers and Skyscrapers, from Babel to Dubai at CaixaForum in Madrid. The curator for Moment – Le Corbusier at Moderna Museet is Fredrik Liew.

Moment – Le Corbusier’s Secret Laboratory is organised by Staffan Ahrenberg in collaboration with the Fondation Le Corbusier and the Ahrenberg Collection, with major contributions from the AVC Charity Foundation and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. 

Moment is a series of exhibitions where the works of art themselves determine where in the museum they will be shown and for how long, ranging from a day to several months, one wall or several rooms. 


Moment – Le Corbusier's Secret Laboratory at Moderna Museet, Stockholm
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January 19, 2013

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