Review Of "Tadao Ando: The Yale Studio And Current Works" By T. Ando

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"Beyond the Postmodern"--so pleads Ando, who at 48 and after more than 40 buildings, is a recognized master, even though his activities have till recently been confined mostly to Osaka and its vicinity. In 1987 he was at Yale conducting an advanced studio, and this slim volume commemorating his visit is really no more than an occasional publication in the guise of a monograph, which it is not. A dozen recent works and projects it introduces, none properly dated, are fascinating (especially two tea houses, which are quintessentially Ando), and they are beautifully photographed; but for the most part illustrations are far from adequate to make the designs intelligible. Ando's descriptions help but they are lightweight; Kenneth Frampton's introduction says little beyond the architect's own pronouncements; and Peter Eisenman's pretentious appreciation, profound as it is (as when he writes that "Ando's architecture is ultimately the emptying of spaces to the screen of the limina"), obscures rather than illuminates. George T. Kunihiro, presumably the translator of Ando's writings, describes the studio for posterity. Most libraries would do well to wait for a fuller publication on the architect, which he deserves.


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