Tuesday Apr 28, 2020

Philip Johnson

Philip Cortelyou Johnson may be more responsible than anyone for the shift from Modernism as a new way of living to Modernism as an elite bauble. Born into immense power and privilege, he was a deeply committed elitist, and dilettante fascist, who used his money and connections to whitewash his youthful (and ongoing) embrace of Hitler in specific and far-right politics in general. As a key curator and preacher of the Modernist gospel in the United States, he was central in divorcing the style from its egalitarian political aspirations. In response to criticism, he said: “I am a whore. Very well paid.”

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———. “Criticism of Jair Bolsonaro Meeting Is ‘an Oversimplification of a Complex World’ Says Bjarke Ingels.” Dezeen, January 23, 2020. https://www.dezeen.com/2020/01/23/jair-bolsonaro-bjarke-ingels/.
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———. “The Despot Dilemma: Should Architects Work for Repressive Regimes?” The Guardian, January 27, 2020, sec. Art and design. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/jan/27/despot-dilemma-should-architects-work-for-repressive-regimes-bjarke-ingels.
Wortman, Marc. 1941: Fighting the Shadow War: A Divided America in a World at War. First edition. New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2016.
———. “Famed Architect Philip Johnson’s Hidden Nazi Past.” Vanity Fair. Accessed April 27, 2020. https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2016/04/philip-johnson-nazi-architect-marc-wortman.

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