LE CORBUSIER 1887-1965

Biography

Charles-Edouard Jeanneret Gris, famous under Le Corbusier, was born in 1887 in la Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
In 1900, the young man started training as an engraver and chiseller at the art school of his home city. In 1902, he awarded his first prize when he exhibited his first engraving on a watchcase at the decorative arts exhibition of Turin.
Afterwards, Jeanneret wanted to be an artist-painter. As a result, Charles l'Eplattenier, who was a disciple of Art Nouveau in France, welcomed him in his art drawing class. However, he did not perceive his talent so moved the young artist towards architecture and decoration in 1904.
After a few years travelling around Europe, the artist opened his own firm in Switzerland as an architect in 1912. Unfortunately, he faced to several failures so decided to move in Paris, his dream city, in 1917.
When he arrived, he met Amédée Ozenfant who initiated him to oil painting. In 1918, they revealed together purism basis, which was an artistic movement stigmatizing cubism. Le Corbusier exhibited his first two canvases at the Thomas gallery with Ozenfant's ones.
In 1920, the two friends joined the poet Paul Dermée to define together the new sense of the avant-garde movement in their journal L'Esprit nouveau. When this journal was introduced, Jeanneret used for the first time his pseudonym "Le Corbusier".
In 1922, the artist found a strong partner to renew his architect activity when his cousin Pierre Jeanneret came in France. The two cousins settled their common firm in Paris, France.
During the 1920s, the Jeanneret's artistic style was evolving. Indeed, he dealt more with watercolor painting and depicted different subjects such as architectural views, genre scenes, still lives or nudes. His painting would keep evolving during 1930s: not only did he accept figuration and human forms, but also Le Corbusier included "poetic reaction objects" that could be forms gleaned by the concrete hand or the eye.
After the carnage of World War II, reconstruction issues in France are significant. Le Corbusier would carry out various urban planning and architectural projects throughout 1940s and 1950s.
In 1952, the Parisian gallery Denise René organized an exhibition putting forward drawing he realized between 1918-1928.  In December 1953, the public was marked by a big exhibition of his artworks organized at the National Museum of Modern Art. It was also presented in London, United-Kingdom.
Le Corbusier died in august 1965 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France.

Works