Philip Johnson
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Reference URL

Philip Johnson 1978
  • Artist Rooms
Philip Johnson was the doyen of American architects and architectural critics. In the 1930s he championed the cause of Modernism, although towards the end of his career he was one of the first architects to embrace Post-Modernism. He is photographed here seated in a dark leather chair, wearing his round, trademark spectacles that contributed so much to his puckish demeanour. Like a figure in an Egyptian low relief – hieratic and unemotional – Johnson has taken up a triangular pose, from the tip of his pointing finger to the back of his head and down to his elbow.

Glossary Open

Modernism

A general term used to describe the various movements in art from the late 19th century to the 1960s, encompassing a broad range of styles.

Post-Modernism

Late 20th century art that includes a great variety of styles, so is hard to define but is often characterised as a reaction against the formalism perceived to dominate Modernism. In architecture, it describes a style which borrows from many different traditions and which contrasts with the clarity and simplicity of many modernist buildings.

Relief

A form of sculpture where the image or design projects from a flat surface types of which include, bas-relief or low relief.

Modernism, Post-Modernism, Relief

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00154
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 34.00 x 34.10 cm (framed: 50.80 x 40.60 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008