foreword by Kenneth Frampton essay by Eric Dluhosch
Prague is a one of Europe's oldest and most beautiful cities. Originally published in Czech in 1985, this seminal work focuses on the architecture of Prague from the turn of the century to the end of the Second World War: a rich matrix within which to place the figures who created the powerful, innovative spirit of modern Czech architecture.
Encyclopedic in its coverage, The Architecture of New Prague documents the architects, structures, and theoretical underpinnings that helped to shape Prague's cultural heritage and present-day artistic spirit. Three supplements appear in this edition: a directory of approximately 1,200 buildings (with street addresses), 25 short biographies of the main Prague architects of the time, and a revised bibliography. The more than 300 illustrations, all commissioned for the book, were taken by architectural photographer Jan Maly.
The text provides detailed coverage of the most important architects and their buildings, many of which have never been documented in any English-language publication. There are also valuable insights into the cultural conditions that helped to shape the Czech capital. An introductory chapter takes up Prague's urbanistic development and its context within international architectural movements.
"Tiege was at one and the same time both an agent provocateur and seismograph, at once provoking action and debate and yet simultaneously reacting with the utmost sensitivity to the shifting political spectrum of his time." —from the introduction by Kenneth Frampton
Karel Teige (1900-1951), a leading figure of the avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s, participated in every important argument and controversy of those turbulent years. He edited the most influential avant-garde journals on Czech and international cultural affairs and wrote profoundly original essays and books on the theory and criticism of art and architecture. He also produced paintings, collages, photomontages, film scripts, book covers, and typefaces and participated in theatrical performances.
When the Communists took over Czechoslovakia in 1948, Teige was first hailed as a progressive, then denounced for not toeing the party line—even though he was never a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. He died a broken man, forbidden to speak out or to publish. Since the recovery of his work after the "velvet revolution" of 1989, his legacy has been revived not only in Prague, but also in Western Europe and the United States.
Teige firmly believed in an ars una, free of the artificial separation of one branch of the arts from the other. The concept of ars una is reflected in the essays of this book, which provide intellectual riches without overly compartmentalized attempts at "academic" criticism. Because the only significant writing by Teige to appear so far in English is his well-known argument with Le Corbusier, the "Mundaneum Affair," four essays by Teige have been included.
Contributors: Polana Bregantová, Lenka Bydzovská, Rumjana Daceva, Eric Dluhosch, Vojtech Lahoda, Miroslav Petrícek, Jr., Klaus Spechtenhauser, Karel Srp, Rostislav Svácha, Daniel Weiss.
Published with the assistance of the Getty Grant Program.