haunted by postmodernism

is po-mo now retro?

recently visited charles jencks’ residence; the cosmic house, a somewhat imposing property in what used to be my old neighbourhood; holland park, notting hill. it’s open to the public, although visiting parties are limited in number. there’s much postmodernism in evidence here, with its attendant historicism (neoclassical, ancient egyptian, gothic and medieval refererences) but most striking and unexpected for me are the nods here and there to the glasgow school. throughout, the house, but particularly in the bedroom which reminded me of nothing less than the glasgow tearooms mackintosh worked on.

moment or movement

i visited here on a rainy autumn morning, which to me was somewhat at odds with what i tend to associate with postmodernism. in addition to historicisms and ironic references, there was also a peculiar melancholy. it seemed to be missing the bright colour and playfulness to be found in works by other leading figures of the movement (is it a movement? perhaps moment might be better …) such as sottsass or venturi.
well worth a visit, but it’s also worth priming yourself on jencks’ ‘postmodernism: new classicism in art and architecture’ or ‘the language of post-modern architecture’ beforehand, if you want a deeper insight into what’s going on here.
(if you are interested in a visit, the webiste is here, with access to relevant material, images, and details concerning booking visits)