Weaving Words: Le Corbusier and Jean Lurçat Between Tapestry and Poetry

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Before his funeral service in the Cour Carrée of the Louvre on 1 September 1965, the body of Le Corbusier (1887-1965) lay with his tapestry Les Dés sont jetés (1960) as a backdrop. This article examines the place and significance of tapestry in Le Corbusier’s wider career as an architect, artist and poet, bringing out the ways in which his woven works of 1948 onwards are intricately connected to his thinking across media. Jean Lurçat (1892-1966), the protagonist of modern tapestry design, is usually sidelined in art historical analysis. In bringing these two figures together, I find a point of encounter not only in their engagement with tapestry as a form of resistance and revolution via a medieval model, but also in their different uses of poetry in the broadest sense. Close readings of the imagery of the tapestries alongside the writings of the artists themselves, Paul Éluard and Stéphane Mallarmé reveal surprising connections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-89
Number of pages13
JournalLC: Revue de recherches sur Le Corbusier
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 7 2020


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