Le Corbusier, the Artist


«The Key to My Architecture»

Invitation to the exhibition in summer 2019
Events in connection with the exhibition
As an architect, a pioneer of Modernism; as an urbanist and author, a guarantee for sensation; as a designer, the creator of timeless armchairs: Le Corbusier – born in 1887 as Charles-Edouard Jean­ne­ret-Gris in Switzerland’s La Chaux-de-Fonds – was a berserk of creative power, fabulously productive, incredibly creative, in his own lifetime equally idolized and demonized.

He drew his strength and inspiration for this tour de force from his art. It is «the key to my architecture», he repeatedly emphasized. 500 oil paintings – many worth millions –, thousands of drawings and collages, hundreds of prints, and many tapestries, sculptures, and enamel works bear testimony. In these, he developed his formal arsenal, searched for balance of proportion, which he then used as an architect.

Between 1916 – even before his first purist paintings – and 1965, Le Corbusier explored printmaking, picking up on all his central themes, whether the still lifes, the «objets à réaction poétique» or the «Five Points of a New Architecture» which established his fame in the 1920s. His graphic work includes at least 200 prints, most of them hand-signed, printed by the masters of his time.

Le Corbusier approached these prints with great care. In his sense of artist mission, they were always a means of communication. For example, in 1963 he wrote to the lithographer Fernand Mourlot that they are «à disposition des gens intelligents . . . . . et pauvres (!) qui seraient ravis de payer très bon marché un mural de papier à punaiser sur leurs murs» (prints are for good and poor people who would be happy to pay little money for a print to pin on their walls).

(Fig.: LC in front of his painting «Figure devant une porte blanche», 1937, in the exhibition «Le Corbusier – Œuvre Plastique» at the Kunsthaus Zürich in January 1938; source: Schweizer Illustrierte Zeitung, Nr. 4/1938)

Our range of LC’s works

It was Le Corbusier’s artistic œuvre that laid the cornerstone of Placart thirteen years ago. Meanwhile, the gallery can offer the world’s largest selection of LCs lithographs, etchings, and engravings – a collection that can be discovered directly on-site in Zurich or at We have also sold unique pieces; drawings as well as an oil painting as well as a tapestry. A small selection of unique items is also currently available.

Experts and collectors also appreciate the catalog «Bauen auf Kunst – Le Corbusiers Druckgraphiken aus fünf Jahrzehnten» (Building on Art – Le Corbusier’s Five Decades of Print Graphics), which the gallery authored and published on the occasion of its eponymous exhibition at the Architekturforum Zürich. Moreover, the comments by the gallery owner Tomas Rabara on LC’s entire graphic work and the information about the multiple and even post-mortem editions, make this catalog a very valuable source. (Fig.: Screenshot