Charles Jencks

American (1939 - 2019)
Charles Jencks Landform 2001


Born 1939
Died 2019
Nationality American

American architect and architectural historian Professor Charles Jencks is probably best known as the critic who first defined Post-Modernism in architecture, which led to its subsequent definition in many other areas. A visiting professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, he wrote over thirty books on architecture and culture and lectured all over the world. He made several television programmes on architecture and designed buildings, furniture and landscape gardens.

Glossary terms

  • Environmental art is a broad term encapsulating art that creates an immersive ‘environment’, often made for an urban or rural space, as opposed to a traditional gallery. The term was popularised in the late 1960s by artists pushing the boundaries of sculpture and is often closely linked with Land Art. The scope of environmental art is very broad and can be fragile and ephemeral, solid and permanent, large or small scale.

  • A movement beginning in the 1960s that sought a direct engagement with nature, creating artworks in and with the landscape.

  • 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.