User:Trafford09/Alice Regan (Professor)
Adolf Loos (10 December 1870 – 23 August 1933) was one of the most important and influential Austrian and Czechoslovak architects of European Modern architecture. In his essay "Ornament and Crime" he repudiated the florid style of the Vienna Secession, the Austrian version of Art Nouveau. In this and many other essays he contributed to the elaboration of a body of theory and criticism of Modernism in architecture.
Born in 1870 in Brno, Moravia, Loos was only nine when his stonemason father died. A rebellious boy who rather lost his bearings, he failed in various attempts to get through architecture school. Contracting syphilis in the brothels of Vienna, by 21 he was sterile and in 1893 his mother disowned him. He went to America for three years, and did odd jobs in New York, somehow finding himself in that process and returning to Vienna in 1896 a man of taste and intellectual refinement, immediately entering the fashionable Viennese intelligentsia. His friends included Ludwig Wittgenstein, Arnold Schönberg, and Karl Kraus. He quickly established himself as the preferred architect of Vienna’s cultured bourgeoisie. Diagnosed with cancer in 1918, his stomach, appendix and part of his intestine were removed. For the rest of his life he could only digest ham and cream. He had several unhappy marriages. By the time he was fifty he was almost completely deaf; in 1928 he was disgraced by a paedophilia scandal and at his death in 1933 at 62 he was penniless. He died in Kalksburg near Vienna.
To understand fully Loos’s radical, innovative outlook on life, his admiration for the classical tradition, his passion for all aspects of design, lifestyle and taste, and the breadth of his ideas, it is essential to read his own collected writings, which were published by MIT press in English as “Spoken into the Void” in 1982.
- 1899 Café Museum, Vienna
- Bock, Ralf (2007). Adolf Loos. Geneve: Skira. ISBN 8876246436.
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