Another critic wants to have classicism's cake and eat it too3:34 PM Sun, Jan 23, 2011 | Permalink
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The Washington Post's longtime architecture critic Roger K. Lewis takes a stab at why Palladio's influence has been so pervasive over the centuries (his Villa Rotonda is above). At least he doesn't insist that Palladio was really a modernist. He does bring out some of the hoary old chestnuts of modernism's case against classicism, though he does it with a smile. He notes that modernists rejected classicism because they thought it too straitlaced; instead of rejecting that obvious falsehood out of hand, he nods and moves on, as if it were not clear that if classicism were indeed so strict, all classical buildings would be nearly identical. Yet the variety of classicism beats the the pants off the variety of modernism. And then Lewis concludes by announcing that if you look closely at some of Washington's best modern architecture, you can see the principles of Palladio's classicism. Good grief.
Lewis's interesting essay is here.