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Modernism and Architecture in Brazil: The Transnational Career of Gregori Warchavchik, 1896-1972

A Talk by Professor Jose Lira, University of Sao Paulo (USP, Brazil)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Bunche 6275
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Gregori Warchavchik (1896-1972) is historically known for pioneering modern architecture in Brazil. Born in Odessa, Ukraine, educated in Rome from 1918 to 1920, he worked for different Italian professionals, such as Marcello Piacentini and Vincenzo Fasolo, before moving anonymously to São Paulo in 1923. There he started working for the major Brazilian building company at the time, which belonged to one of the leading names of national industrialization, Roberto Cockrane Simonsen. In 1927 he married Mina Klabin and opened private office in town. In that position he became the architect in the avant-garde milieu in São Paulo, responsible for the building of the first modernist private houses in the country, acting in local public debates as the spokesman for an international style. Although his later work was shadowed by the rising of Brazilian Modern Architecture in the international scene, his career testifies to quite a different aspect of modern design in Brazil; significantly more connected to the urban and material processes, to private building and real estate promotion. My intention is to highlight some issues that bind together his professional trajectory, the international exchanges on the disciplinary field, and the socio-economic mediations impressed upon his architectural propositions.

Professor Jose Tavares Correia de Lira, PhD in Architecture (USP 1997) and PD in Architectural History (USP 2008), teaches at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil. His work focuses on the cultural history of architecture and urban planning, modern architecture in Brazil, architectural avant-garde and architectural historiography. He has edited Tempo, Cidade e Arquitetura (FAU-USP/Annablume, 2007), Cidades: impasses e perspectivas (2007), Fraturas da Vanguarda em Gregori Warchavchik (CosacNaify, forthcoming), and published several essays and articles in professional journals.


The talk and the follow-up discussion will be conducted in English and Portuguese

Cost : Free and open to the public


Sponsor(s): Latin American Institute, Center for Brazilian Studies

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