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Adolf Loos - A Private Portrait
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"A valuable fine-grained portrait...The English translation of her book is fluent and accurate, conveying well the tone of Claire Loos' original (which, in turn, to some extent mimics Loos' own writing style). Richly informative." --Christopher Long, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture "Claire Beck Loos, a gifted photographer and writer, ...reveals much about her ex-husband's mercurial persona in a series of conversationally-toned vignettes ...Claire died tragically at 38, at the Riga concentration camp; her memoir thus becomes a haunting tribute not only to Loos's talents, but to her own.." --Judy Pollan, Modernism Magazine "Her artist's way of encapsulating the essential about Loos in a mixture of camera-sharp observations is mitigated by an affectionate regard for the brilliant, but deeply flawed man that he was. The book is hugely perceptive and beautifully written." --Dr. Irena Murray, Former Director of the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), London "Claire [Beck Loos]'s book reveals a sharp eye for capturing personality, story and zeitgeist." --Stewart Oksenhorn, Arts Editor, Aspen Times "A highly personable and ultimately a sorrowful book about Loos in his declining years ...provides a host of important insights into the man, his intellectual circle, and most importantly his approach to the practice of architecture. The memoir is skillfully and lucidly framed by introductory essays and an Afterword." --Dr. Harry Mallgrave, Professor of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago "[In] short tales of an afternoon or a conversation ...you get a very clear sense of who Loos was as a person, or at least how Claire remembers him: an eccentric who flits between intense joy and fury, generous to a fault, unafraid to disagree intensely with a client, full of quips and contradictory ways of seeing the world. It is indeed a personal portrait, and a surprising, quite wonderful little book." --Nicole Stock, Urbis architecture magazine, New Zealand "In razor-sharp anecdotes, some a paragraph, some several pages, Claire writes in the present tense. The result is altogether Loosian: timeless, with as little ornament, but as much empathy, as any protege could deliver. Here, theory in the flesh walks in." --Barbara Lamprecht, author of Neutra: Complete Works in a book review for the Society of Architectural Historians Adolf Loos--A Private Portrait is an unusual, literary biography featuring lively, often humorous, "snapshots" of Viennese-Czechoslovak architect Adolf Loos. An intimate collection of vignettes reveal Loos' personality, temperament and philosophy during the last years of his life (1929-1933) and the ways in which he helped shape Modern architecture. This translation, by Constance C. Pontasch and Nicholas Saunders, is the first English edition, the book having enjoyed several reprints in German. The author, Claire Beck Loos, was a photographer and Adolf Loos' last wife. She was born in 1904 in Czechoslovakia; her family were Jewish industrialists and important early clients of Loos, commissioning several apartments in Pilsen and works by the architect's friend Oskar Kokoschka. In addition to being a biography of her husband, Adolf Loos--A Private Portrait also serves as a self-portrait of Claire, a vibrant young artist who died a tragic and untimely death at Riga, a Nazi concentration camp, in 1942. The book includes supplemental texts by Claire's niece Janet Beck Wilson, biographical materials and previously unpublished artistic photographs by the author.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii Biography of Adolf Loos xi Introduction xiii Foreword 1 Adolf Loos-A Private Portrait 3-138 Notes 141 Beck Family History 153 Photographs 169 Afterword 189

About the Author

Claire Beck Loos: Claire Beck Loos (b. 1904 Pilsen, Czechoslovakia; d. 1942 Riga) studied photography at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna, was a photographer and writer. She worked in photographer Hede Pollak's atelier in Prague. She married Adolf Loos and is best known for her portraiture of him. She died in the Holocaust. Carrie Paterson: Carrie Paterson is an artist and writer who lives in Los Angeles. She writes for contemporary art journals and has her own publishing company, DoppelHouse Press. She is the grand-niece of Claire Beck Loos. Janet Beck Wilson: Janet Beck Wilson is a writer and former Rock and Roll zine editor. She is the niece of Claire Beck Loos.

Reviews

"A valuable fine-grained portrait... The English translation of her book is fluent and accurate, conveying well the tone of Claire Loos' original (which, in turn, to some extent mimics Loos' own writing style). Richly informative." --Christopher Long, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture "Claire Beck Loos, a gifted photographer and writer, ... reveals much about her ex-husband's mercurial persona in a series of conversationally-toned vignettes ... Claire died tragically at 38, at the Riga concentration camp; her memoir thus becomes a haunting tribute not only to Loos's talents, but to her own.." --Judy Pollan, Modernism Magazine "Her artist's way of encapsulating the essential about Loos in a mixture of camera-sharp observations is mitigated by an affectionate regard for the brilliant, but deeply flawed man that he was. The book is hugely perceptive and beautifully written." --Dr. Irena Murray, Former Director of the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), London "Claire [Beck Loos]'s book reveals a sharp eye for capturing personality, story and zeitgeist." --Stewart Oksenhorn, Arts Editor, Aspen Times "A highly personable and ultimately a sorrowful book about Loos in his declining years ... provides a host of important insights into the man, his intellectual circle, and most importantly his approach to the practice of architecture. The memoir is skillfully and lucidly framed by introductory essays and an Afterword." --Dr. Harry Mallgrave, Professor of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago "[In] short tales of an afternoon or a conversation ... you get a very clear sense of who Loos was as a person, or at least how Claire remembers him: an eccentric who flits between intense joy and fury, generous to a fault, unafraid to disagree intensely with a client, full of quips and contradictory ways of seeing the world. It is indeed a personal portrait, and a surprising, quite wonderful little book." --Nicole Stock, Urbis architecture magazine, New Zealand "In razor-sharp anecdotes, some a paragraph, some several pages, Claire writes in the present tense. The result is altogether Loosian: timeless, with as little ornament, but as much empathy, as any protege could deliver. Here, theory in the flesh walks in." --Barbara Lamprecht, author of Neutra: Complete Works in a book review for the Society of Architectural Historians

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