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A Critic Writes: Selected Essays by Reyner Banham (Centennial Books) Paperback – 18 Mar 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (18 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520219449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520219441
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.2 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 719,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This is a well-made book, which would have pleased Banham, who took book design as seriously as all other types of design. . . . Banham is always clear and always readable. Because these essays were such timely commentary when they were published, they will become a more and more useful historical document."--"Architectural Research Quarterly

About the Author

Reyner Banham (1922-1988) was Sheldon H. Solow Professor of the History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Professor of Art History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His many books include Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1973), Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1980), and A Concrete Atlantis: U.S. Industrial Building and European Modern Architecture (1986). Mary Banham is an artist, editor, and curator who collaborated with her husband on his books and articles. Paul Barker, for many years editor of New Society, writes and broadcasts on social, environmental, and cultural issues. Sutherland Lyall, Literary Advisor to the Banham estate, has written seven books on architecture, design, and building. Cedric Price is an internationally acclaimed architect. The editors currently live in London.

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BY 1950 REYNER BANHAM had spent a year at the Courtauld Institute, University of London, studying art history. Read the first page
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Sep 1997
Format: Hardcover
Few twentieth-century writers on architecture and design have enjoyed the renown of Reyner Banham. Born and trained in England and a U.S. resident starting in 1976, Banham wrote incisively about American and European buildings and culture. Now readers can enjoy a chronological cross-section of essays, polemics, and reviews drawn from more than three decades of Banham's writings.
The volume, which includes discussions of Italian Futurism, Adolf Loos, Paul Scneer Dart, among others also generally provides incisive accounts of the contemporary architecture by Frank Gehry, James Stirling, and Norman Foster. It conveys the full range of Banham's belief in industrial and technological development as the motor of architectural evolution. Banham's interests and passions ranged from architecture and the culture of pop art to urban and industrial design. In brilliant analyses of automobile styling, mobile homes, science fiction films, and the American predilection for gadgets, he anticipated many of the preoccupations of contemporary cultural studies. Los Angeles, the city that Banham commemorated in a book and a film, receives extensive attention in essays on the Santa Monica Pier, the Getty Museum, Forest Lawn cemetery, and the ubiquitous freeway system.
Readable, provocative, and entertaining, this book is certain to consolidate Banham's reputation among architects and students of contemporary culture. For those acquainted with his writing, it offers welcome surprises as well as familiar delights. For those encountering Banham for the first time, it comprises the perfect introduction.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
exceptional views on the meaning of our constructed spaces 18 Sep 1997
By wordtrade@wordtrade.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Few twentieth-century writers on architecture and design have enjoyed the renown of Reyner Banham. Born and trained in England and a U.S. resident starting in 1976, Banham wrote incisively about American and European buildings and culture. Now readers can enjoy a chronological cross-section of essays, polemics, and reviews drawn from more than three decades of Banham's writings.
The volume, which includes discussions of Italian Futurism, Adolf Loos, Paul Scneer Dart, among others also generally provides incisive accounts of the contemporary architecture by Frank Gehry, James Stirling, and Norman Foster. It conveys the full range of Banham's belief in industrial and technological development as the motor of architectural evolution. Banham's interests and passions ranged from architecture and the culture of pop art to urban and industrial design. In brilliant analyses of automobile styling, mobile homes, science fiction films, and the American predilection for gadgets, he anticipated many of the preoccupations of contemporary cultural studies. Los Angeles, the city that Banham commemorated in a book and a film, receives extensive attention in essays on the Santa Monica Pier, the Getty Museum, Forest Lawn cemetery, and the ubiquitous freeway system.
Readable, provocative, and entertaining, this book is certain to consolidate Banham's reputation among architects and students of contemporary culture. For those acquainted with his writing, it offers welcome surprises as well as familiar delights. For those encountering Banham for the first time, it comprises the perfect introduction.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Prevention 25 Jun 2014
By Silvio Plotquin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The aspect of the book is terrific. Every page is so badly trimmed that I had to order a second issue, which resulted so badly printed as the first one. I prevent everybody seriously to purchase California University edition. Sadly.
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