Architecture Foundation Discussion London, Francis Bacon, Design, City, Britain

Architecture Foundation Debate

New Brutalism + British Modernism, London, England, UK

15 Sep 2008

Architecture Foundation Discussion

Zaha Hadid and Ken Livingstone take on Brutalism and the City

The Architecture Foundation presents Architecture and Design in the Bacon Era

AF Debate in London, UK

Francis Bacon’s life, from 1909 – 1992, covered an exceptional period of transformation in architecture and art. He worked at a time when continental modernism, in art, architecture and design, was reinvented in a British context. Indeed, before beginning a career in painting, Bacon worked as an interior designer; producing tubular steel furniture and other products he would later dismiss as derivative of Le Corbusier. Bacon’s work offered a reaction to the Modernist project, and he shared with it an examination of city life, texture, beauty and ugliness.

On the eve of Bacon’s centenary and with his major retrospective in full swing, The Architecture Foundation, in collaboration with Tate Britain, presents two discussions on the changes to the built environment and the challenges to Modernity than ran parallel to the artist’s work and lifetime. Complimentary drinks will be available in the Rotunda for the audience and speakers.

Wednesday 1 October: Texture
Panel: Mark Cousins, Tony Fretton, Zaha Hadid, Patrick Hodgkinson
New Brutalism broke away from the abstract, weightless planes of early modernism and its smooth surfaces, towards a fascination with the weighty, the substantial and the rough, paralleling Bacon’s fascination with the texture of paint.
Cultural critic and architectural theorist Mark Cousins, architects Tony Fretton and Zaha Hadid, and architect of the Brunswick Centre, Patrick Hodgkinson, will discuss the moment’s impact and legacy.

Wednesday 22 October: Back to the City
Panel: Nigel Coates, Ken Livingstone and Joseph Rykwert.
Bacon was a consummate urbanite. Where early modernism rejected the typical city, proposing its erasure and replacement by wholly new and different forms, post-war British Modernism celebrated the street life and structures of cities as found, starting a re-discovery of the urban that continues today. Speakers will include architect Nigel Coates, former mayor of London Ken Livingstone, and architectural historian Joseph Rykwert.
Discussions chaired by Joe Kerr, Department of Critical & Historical Studies, Royal College of Art.

Ticket / Venue information: Tate Britain Auditorium, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG
Standard: £7
Architecture Foundation Members / Concessions: £5
Prior booking recommended:;; 020 7887 8888
Architecture and Design in the Bacon Era is supported by The Estate of Francis Bacon.

Architecture Foundation Discussion information from AF Sep 2008

Location: 136-148 Tooley Street, London, UK

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