Sunday, March 03, 2019

Tadao Ando: The Colours of Light

Tadao Ando: The Colours of Light
Richard Pare
Phaidon, January 2000 (Mini Edition)



Hardcover | 5-1/2 x 6-1/2 inches | 284 pages | 350 illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-0714839998

Publisher Description:
An exquisite work of art in its own right, this book is the result of ten years' collaboration between the English photographer Richard Pare and the internationally renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. This new edition features all the same extraordinary photographs, completely remastered from the original negatives, bringing this beautiful volume back to life. Pare's remarkable images shed new light on this important body of work, while Ando's original line drawings and sketches provide unparalleled insight into his creative process.
dDAB Commentary:
In 1996, when the first, large edition of Richard Pare's The Colours of Light was published by Phaidon, Japanese architect Tadao Ando was known for some small commissions: houses, churches, and museums, mainly. It was, in a way, the end of the golden era of Ando, before his style of sensual concrete architecture was supersized for many more museums as well as offices and other buildings all over the world. Ask an architect what their favorite Ando building is and you'll probably hear Church of the Light (1989) before, say, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2002). Translating his tactile concrete architecture suited for intimate spaces of contemplation to larger, more impersonal commissions could not have been easy, but Ando carried his design sense through to such projects, making them recognizably his. (This view of Ando's architecture is not absolute, though, as projects like Wrightwood 659, completed last year, attest.)

There is something about Ando's architecture that makes his buildings well suited to the large-scale monographs that publishers started churning out in the post-S,M,L,XL era. In addition to the first edition of Pare's photographs is Taschen's "XXL" Complete Works, which was first published in 2004 and has been updated twice since, most recently last year. Understandably, Phaidon put out a mini edition of Pare's book in 2000: a scaled-down version of the coffee table book that fits easily on bookshelves and in one's hands. It collects Pare's detail-oriented photos of nearly 30 Ando buildings over the course of more than a decade, much like what he did with Le Corbusier. The book also includes an introductory essay by Tom Heneghan ("Architecture and Ethics"), brief project descriptions and data with sketches by Ando at the back of the book, and some words by Pare on photographing Ando's buildings. The appeal of his photos is not lost on Phaidon, which published a second edition of the large-sized book twelve months ago; subtitled "Volume 1," the new book portends that more is to come, bringing us up to date with photos of Ando's architecture over the last two decades.
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Author Bio:
Richard Pare is consulting curator of photography for the Canadian Center for Architecture and has exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
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