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Reading Room: Constant: New Babylon

Aug. 31, 2016

By Constant, Pascal Gielen, Laura Stamps,
Willemijn Stokvis, Mark Wigley, and Trudy van der Horst | $51.60

An open city without borders that is capable of flowing out in all directions to allow its residents to move freely and flexibly…

This fascinating utopian conception of architectural and lifeworld growth formed the starting point for Constant Nieuwenhuy’s (1920–2005) lifelong project: New Babylon. Between 1956 and 1974, the Dutch painter and co-founder of the avant-garde movements COBRA and Situationist International worked on numerous models, paintings, drawings, and collages for the purpose of depicting his vision of the nomadic city of the future. This catalogue focuses not only on the architectural aspects but embraces them as an artist’s synthesis of the arts. Besides his models, drawings, and collages, attention is also given to the designs in order to trace the creative artistic process. This provides extensive insight into utopian urban planning, while, to a greater degree, examining a mode of thought and imagination.

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