The Brutalism style was really popular in the 1960s and 1970s but was first coined as the French “béton brut” – Le Corbusier’s definition of his favorite material and the term was made popular by architecture critic Reyner Banham in the 1950s and 1960s. Today is due in part to 1970s-inspired fashion trends in films like “American Hustle”and disco dance music. Brutalism is hard edges jagged shapes rough surfaces patinad burned finishes, asymmetrical designs, spikey silhouettes, and metallic colors. In the production the term means that the welding and torch cutting are carried out in a “brutal manner” — meaning the creftsperson performs his or her basic action on the piece in a given moment does not tamper with it afterward leaving the art piece raw, and, scrappy. To carry out this, the artist needs a thorough knowledge of what action is about to be taken, how to perform that action, steady hands, and most importantly, a ZenLike attitude towards the process. Today we’re seeing Brutalist furniture emerge through a lot of pieces that can blend into a lot of design styles. The look is popular with Kelly Wearstler, Johathan Adler and Blackman Cruz, and is common in lighting wall sculptures and concrete pieces but you can find a variety of vintage and contemporary consoles, sideboards, and armoires that exhibit characteristics.
The master of Brutalism was Paul Evans (1931 – 1987). Famous for his contributions to the American Craft movement of the 1960s, his metal furnnishings make him apart from the world of design. He was not easily categorized, Evans was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and spent his early childhood in New Hope, Pennsylvania his father was head of a Quaker school’s English department and his mother was, a painter. He eventually attended Cranbrook Academy near Detroit, Michigan, and afterwards demonstrated metalworking techniques at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. In 1950 Evans set up business in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where he experimented in phases. He collaborated with his friend Philip Powell on pieces of furniture, combining gnarly wood forms with gilding metal filigree this led to covering cabinets with raw metal knobs starburst forms and surfaces. Evans was able to tread fine line his work being“stunningly beautiful, stunningly ugly, stunningly tacky, and stunningly sophisticated qualities, which one almost never encounters. His pieces are characterised by his esthetics: verdigris wavy forge perforated geometric fishscaled. Says gallery director Tara ,Evans career has a really interesting trajectory, from very craft-based in the 50s to very flashy in the 60s and 80s”. Although his patrons were intellectual, the market for furniture eventually cooled. Evans discarded much of his archive, but collectors rescue works from trash piles. Today has seen a major resurgence in Evans’ work resulting in high prices, inclusion in world famous collections and even a movie about of his life. Evans passed away in 1987 at 55.
Paul Evans at work
Evans’ armoire of welded and etched aluminum
Other notable practitioners of Brutalism include the American artist(s) Curtis Jere (Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels), known for wall art, Silas Seandel, and Tom Greene, known for torch-cut multi-tiered chandeliers with stalacatite points, scrap lanterns and burnished cubist pendant.
Brutalist interior by Carlo Scarpa
Brutalist architecture was from 1951 to 1975, having descended from the modern architecture movement of the early 20th century, resulting in rough somber post-apocalyptic concrete fortresses of raw unrefined materials designed to project a sense of strength like those created by Le Corbusier Merril W. Baird, A. Quincy Jones and others. The terms also applicable to wood carving sculptures of different materials with a raw rebellious and awkward look to them. Brutalism remains one of design’s most difficult styles to date, yet still manages to look new because of its highly expressive forms and an element of unrefined.
“Habitat”, Expo 67, Montreal, Quebec, constructed of prefabricated formsan example of Brutalism architecture