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Le Corbusier

Three Apéritif Glasses, s.d.
colour lithograph
71.0 x 103.0 cm
A set of six lithographs make up the portfolio entitled “Cortège…”, created by Le Corbusier in 1960 during one of his many stays in Chandigarh (India). This series represents highly polished work from his graphic oeuvre, produced using techniques learned at the École d’arts appliqués in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where he enrolled in 1902.

Each print carries the title of a semi-realistic vision (I Dreamed, Magic, 1939. Fall of Barcelona, Game, At Home, Three Apéritif Glasses) and presents—among abstract shapes—a mixture of objects and identifiable spaces in which humans and animal figures meet. The linear, free structure of these little scenes emphasises the primacy of form over colour, which is applied in a secondary and totally autonomous way in an alternation of full and empty spaces. The first 150 editions, printed only in black and white, are very different from the colour prints in their expression.

At the end of his life, Le Corbusier almost never painted, dedicating himself to collage, drawing, gravure, lithography, tapestry work and sculpture. In these late works, much influenced by the collage technique, one finds solid colours superimposed over the lines of the drawing, without filling the whole of the shapes, nor covering the whole of the surface. The lines are more liberated, in contrast to the rigour of his earlier works.

At once an artist, architect and theorist, Le Corbusier’s regular and continuous painting and drawing practice, throughout his career, considerably influenced his modernist ideas and structures, which revolved around a central principle, that of the synthesis of the arts.
Le Corbusier, Three Apéritif Glasses, Trois verres d'apéritif, s.d.