Living Laboratory: Richard Pare on Le Corbusier and Konstantin Melnikov

Modernism is the order of the day at Ealing’s PM Gallery next week, with work from two exceptional Modernist architects going on show thanks to photography by Richard Pare.

Unite´ d’habitation, Marseilles, 1946-52. View of the terrace roof with the superstructure © Richard Pare

Source: © Richard Pare, 2011

Unite´ d’habitation, Marseilles, 1946-52. View of the terrace roof with the superstructure © Richard Pare

Pare’s exhibition will showcase the work of Le Corbusier and Konstantin Melnikov, who between them created some of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century.

Unite´ d’habitation, Marseilles, 1946-52. General view from the west

Source: © Richard Pare, 2011

Unite´ d’habitation, Marseilles, 1946-52. General view from the west

The show has been named Living Laboratory, and showcases how Pare’s work balances the monumental qualities of the buildings he takes as his subjects with the subtle details and nuances that make them so imposing.

Small cabanon, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, 1952. View of the window facing the sea

Source: © Richard Pare, 2012

Small cabanon, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, 1952. View of the window facing the sea

His works are created by mixing his approaches, blending conventional film camera images with digital techniques.

High Court, Chandigarh, Punjab, India, 1952-56. View of the main hall

Source: © Richard Pare, 2012

High Court, Chandigarh, Punjab, India, 1952-56. View of the main hall

‘He is also attentive to the effects of the passage of time and changing social conditions on the works he chooses to portray’, says PM Gallery.

‘The absence of human beings, coupled with signs of wear and decay, including creeping vegetation and the lingering evidence of past eras, emphasise the impermanence of seemingly solid structures and their struggle for survival.’

Le Roche-Jeanneret house, Paris, 1923. Interior view of the hall of La Roche house

Source: © Richard Pare, 2012

Le Roche-Jeanneret house, Paris, 1923. Interior view of the hall of La Roche house

The images bring to life Pare’s obvious love of Modernist architecture, depicting work by Le Corbusier including the Villa Savoye outside Paris, Chapelle Notre-Dame du Haut in Eastern France, L’Unite’ d’Habitation in Marseille and the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh, India.

These each serve to delineate the Swiss-born architect’s bold approach to building design, with their use of open-plan spaces, light-drenched interiors and carefully curated gardens.

Melnikov house 1927-31, Moscow, Russia
Melnikov house 1927-31, Moscow, Russia

Melnikov’s buildings are equally radical – showcased in his own home, a bewildering white structure peppered with gorgeous hexagonal windows and a hell of a lot of imagination.

The hypostyle room in the Assembly Building, Chandigarh, Punjab, India.
The hypostyle room in the Assembly Building, Chandigarh, Punjab, India. ©Richard Pare.

Living Laboratory: Richard Pare on Le Corbusier and Konstantin Melnikov runs from 21 March – 11 May at PM Gallery & House, Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, London W5

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