Fr. 71.00

Sacred Modernity - The Holy Embrace of Modernist Architecture

English, German · Hardback

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Sacred Modernity documents the dramatic shift in ecclesiasticalarchitecture across post-war Europe. Spurred on bythe modernizing impulses of the Second Vatican Councilin the early 1960s, and in search for an appropriate architecturallanguage that showed that the Catholic Churchwas still relevant to the modern world, this was the periodwhen the church married the atheist architect, and bore achild of pure form. Among these structures, some exude ajoyful antagonism, while others emanate a cold minimalism.Boldly designed, outrageous and provocative for theirtime, the aesthetic of this period still ignites great debatebetween modernists and traditionalists.
Half a century on, this study traces how their materials andideals have matured and patinated. Remaining amongstthe most unique buildings within our public sphere, theyare future visions from the near past that seem to anticipatesocieties current shift away from organized religiontowards an individual spirituality.
The book represents the first attempt by a photographer tocollate the religious architecture of the mid-century highmodern years that took many forms, from Brutalism toStructural Expressionism, under a singular artistic vision.
JAMIE McGREGOR SMITH (*1982, Weymouth, UK) studiedphotography at Staffordshire University, graduating in 2006.Inspired by the American New-Topographic movement, he beganhis documentary records with the defunct pottery industry in theBritish midlands, the collapse of the motor industry in Detroit, orthe abandoned Athens Olympics stadiums. His works have beenpublished by The New York Times, The Guardian, the FinancialTimes, Wallpaper*, Architectural Digest and Vanity Fair.

Summary

Sacred Modernity
documents the dramatic shift in ecclesiastical
architecture across post-war Europe. Spurred on by
the modernizing impulses of the Second Vatican Council
in the early 1960s, and in search for an appropriate architectural
language that showed that the Catholic Church
was still relevant to the modern world, this was the period
when the church married the atheist architect, and bore a
child of pure form. Among these structures, some exude a
joyful antagonism, while others emanate a cold minimalism.
Boldly designed, outrageous and provocative for their
time, the aesthetic of this period still ignites great debate
between modernists and traditionalists.



Half a century on, this study traces how their materials and
ideals have matured and patinated. Remaining amongst
the most unique buildings within our public sphere, they
are future visions from the near past that seem to anticipate
societies current shift away from organized religion
towards an individual spirituality.



The book represents the first attempt by a photographer to
collate the religious architecture of the mid-century high
modern years that took many forms, from Brutalism to
Structural Expressionism, under a singular artistic vision.


JAMIE McGREGOR SMITH (*1982, Weymouth, UK) studied
photography at Staffordshire University, graduating in 2006.
Inspired by the American New-Topographic movement, he began
his documentary records with the defunct pottery industry in the
British midlands, the collapse of the motor industry in Detroit, or
the abandoned Athens Olympics stadiums. His works have been
published by
The New York Times, The Guardian, the Financial
Times, Wallpaper*, Architectural Digest

and
Vanity Fair.

Report

»Whatever the flavour of your religious persuasion, an impressive interior will have the power to inspire awe. That's certainly the case for these architectural wonders, some little known and rarely visited.« Jonathan Bell Wallpaper*, 02.09.2022

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