Brutalism, a style emphasizing clarity in presentation of materials, emerged during the 1950s and remained an important development globally into the 1970s. Although most often associated with rough unfinished concrete, Brutalism is much more. The movement represents respect for materials expressed honestly and naturally, without decoration or ornamentation. Raw concrete with a rough finish often unpainted, brick left exposed in simple patterns, steel left uncovered, and glass employed in new and unconventional ways.
Often associated with institutional or public-use buildings, particularly in the rebuilding of devastated cities following World War II, the very nature of many of the projects in Europe, war memorials, public housing, and urban centers appeared striking and arresting to some but soulless monstrosities of concrete, steel, and glass to others.
In a richly illustrated lecture, Bill Keene traces the spread of the style and examines in detail its many facets, including some surprising twists to stereotypical structures. Keene also brings Brutalism up to date as he looks at a revival of interest in the style during this century.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.