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Le Corbusier’s Secret Laboratory

They had us at the title: “Le Corbusier’s Secret Laboratory,” aka the painting studio where the architect took a pause from buildings and furniture to create expressive artworks like the sculpture above, many of which will be on view at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet starting this Saturday. Though his work has been under the microscope for so long now, obviously, that it would be silly to consider any part of his oeuvre truly a secret, the museum claims to have some rarely shown pieces up its sleeve, and a thesis that puts his career in something of a new perspective: “A central theme of this exhibition is Le Corbusier’s oscillation between two seemingly disparate pursuits — his celebration of mechanical objects and his search for poetic forms,” its curators write. “The exhibition will highlight the way in which this complex relationship developed from his youthful study trips around Europe to his late work, investigating the resonances between artistic work and architectural design. At the centre of attention for this migration of themes is Le Corbusier’s painting studio – his ‘secret laboratory.'” We’ve posted four examples of that more artistic work in this story, but the show’s glimpse into Le Corbusier’s “hidden” world includes a hearty mix of more than 200 paintings, landscape drawings, still-lifes, portraits, sculpture, tapestries, furniture, architectural drawings, building models, city plans, books, and photographs. It’s a nice lead-up to the more traditional Corbusier retrospective coming this summer to the MoMA in New York. All Corbu, all the time!

(Above: Le Corbusier, The Sea, 1964, © Le Corbusier/ BUS 2013)
Le Corbusier, Nature morte Indépendants, 1922, © Le Corbusier/BUS 2013Le Corbusier, I was dreaming (first version) 1953, © Le Corbusier/ BUS 2013

Le Corbusier, The poem of the Right Angle plates 6, 1955, © Le Corbusier/ BUS 2013