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Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson Face Off in Modernist Prize Fight


In this corner, from New Canaan, Connecticut, wearing owlish spectacles and a dyspeptic sneer, it’s the Glass House Guru, the crystalline combatant, Phillllip Johnnnnnson! And in this corner, the one with the Barcelona chair, all the way from Plano, Illinois, it’s the puffing pugilist, the less-is-more maven, Ludwig Miiiiies van der Rohhhhhhhe! Such is the modernist title bout imagined by designer and architect Demian Repucci, who created a pair of posters (above) that depict the famed architects “squaring off to preserve great design.” The knockout prints are Repucci’s contribution to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Modern Views project, which is compiling original works donated by 100 architects, artists, and designers to benefit Farnsworth House and the Glass House. So who would Repucci pick in the fight? “If you had asked me back in architecture school, I would have definitely said Mies, his austere genius compelling people to take notice of his sublime and powerful design work,” he told us. “But now that I understand their relationship a little better, I see how savvy Philip was. He might not have been the designer that Mies was, but he was a master at using his connections, relationships, positions, and contextual situation to his professional advantage.”

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