On 15 December, the renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who continues to work and still has many plans, will celebrate his 100th birthday. Such an anniversary on its own merits attention but Niemeyer is also an architect of world importance who has placed Brazilian architecture on the world map.
This and the fact that he is a contemporary of Edvard Ravnikar (Niemeyer is 11 days younger) gives it special significance. Both of them dealt with the problem of regional architectural expression and both of them believed they can achieve it alone. It is a good job that the then President Kubitschek asked Niemeyer to become the Brazilian capital’s main architect. He could easily have turned to Le Corbusier who already in 1936 was advisor for the construction of a building which would house the ministries of education and health. In this case we would not have come to know Brazilian architecture in the way we have done.
Niemeyer’s freedom of form is his response to Le Corbusier, and Ravnikar’s architecture can be understood similarly. If Niemeyer’s architecture is particularly artistically expressive, and is therefore beautiful, its photographic representation is appropriate. Especially when viewed through the camera lens of Damjan Prelovšek who is increasingly proving his understanding of architecture, as well as a talent for giving it expression through photography. The exhibition is therefore simultaneously architectural and photographic, and could be called Niemeyer’s Brazil through the lens of Damjan Prelovšek. As an adept writer he has also contributed to the catalogue a text which describes his meeting with the architect this year. Vladimir Braco Mušič contributed his view on the work of the great architect, and we have added some of Niemeyer’s quotes and sketches. In this way we do not wish only to publicize the work of this great Brazilian architect, but at the same time congratulate him on his anniversary.
Exhibition author and photographer
The exhibition was made possible by the
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.
Exhibition sponsored by
ESAL d. o. o.
20 December 2007–17 February 2008
National Gallery of Slovenia