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Índex, revista de arte contemporáneo

On-line version ISSN 2477-9199Print version ISSN 1390-4825


MANGIA GUERRERO, Eugenio. Adolf Loos - Theodor Adorno and the Modern Aesthetic. Índex [online]. 2022, n.13, pp.29-47. ISSN 2477-9199.

As a cultural critic, Loos is mostly remembered for his contemptuous critique of ornament in the 1910 essay “Ornament und Verbrechen” (Ornament and Crime). Loos believed that ornament fundamentally masks the authenticity and integrity of architecture; therefore, he concluded that everything concerning a utilitarian function within architecture does not belong to the realm of art and that only the tomb and monument can be considered art. As a corollary to this position, Loos realized the radical conclusion that art exists outside of culture whereas architecture is rooted in culture. Adorno in his lecture “Functionalism Today” (‘Funktionalismus Heute’) that was given to the intellectual heirs of the same Deutsche Werkbund, which ironically was object of Loos’ contempt more than half a century earlier. His discourse to this group was essentially a critique on the impoverished quality of German building; and how it dispensed with aesthetic qualities to serve an expedient functionalist agenda.

Keywords : Art; Aesthetic; Ornament; Sachlichkeit; Functionalism; Modern.

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