Rating Rudofsky

The Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal is home to the first retrospective examining the life and work of Bernard Rudofsky (1905-1988) – the Austrian-born architect, designer and critic whose groundbreaking buildings, exhibitions and fashion designs challenged the Western world’s perceptions of comfort and culture. A collaboration between the Architekturzentrum Wien and the Getty Research Institute, in association with the CCA, Lessons from Bernard Rudofsky highlights the diverse contribution of an underappreciated pioneer of modernism,

The exhibition spans his entire career, including his roots in the early years of European modernism; his world travels, which shaped his views as a designer and critic; and, in the fields of architecture, fashion and design, his influence as a curator and writer. Rudofsky is perhaps best known for the exhibitions and publications he conceived in the second half of the 20th century. The most famous of these is Architecture Without Architects, the landmark exhibition at MoMA in 1964, which challenged conventional notions of architecture and dwelling (through its study of vernacular building technologies and alternative ways of living). The exhibition not only spawned an influential book, but also toured for 11 years, touching down in more than 80 venues around the world.

Architecture, for Rudofsky, was “not just a matter of technology and aesthetics but the frame for a way of life – and, with luck, an intelligent way of life.”

The exhibition runs until Sept. 30.