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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Supermannerism" by C. Ray Smith

Paperback, 354 pages, color and black & white illustrations, 8.1 x 5.8 inches.

ISBN-13: 978-0525474241, August 1977.

Published by Plume, out-of-print.

From the inside front cover:
Supermannerism is concerned with the new attitudes that provide the contextual background of design and architecture in America today. It is the first book about the revolution against the style called "Modern" and the development of the current period in architecture and design that is now more and more being called "Post-Modern."

Supermannerism catalogues the beginnings of this movement -- a period from about 1960 to 1970 -- its protagonists and their works, their educations and inspirations, and their influences on students and their works. It outlines the new attitudes that many diverse architects and designers shared in opposition to the Modernists. Among these attitudes are: ambiguity and disorientation; with and whimsy; the pop acceptance of symbols; historicism and decoration superimposition and layering; and adaptability and open-endedness.

The words and works of many spokesmen for these attitudes are presented -- not as they remember them a decade and more ago -- but as they said and designed them while the movement gained momentum. Among these spokesman are Charles Moore, Robert Venturi, Hugh Hardy, and a host of others. The collection of these words and works (illustrated in over 200 halftones and color plates) is by an eyewitness reporter who did much to bring the movement to the attention of professionals in the mid-1960s and who coined the term Supermannerism and supergraphics.

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