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Rare edition of a design guide by Le Corbusier for auction

Le Corbusier's Colour Theory Sample Book. — AFP pic
Le Corbusier's Colour Theory Sample Book. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, Nov 29 — A first edition of Le Corbusier's Polychromie Architecturale: Die Farbenklaviaturen is going up for auction on December 1 in New York.

In 1931, the individual who would arguably become the most influential architect of the 20th century, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (1887-1965) — known as Le Corbusier — published a collection of “colour keyboards” he had been creating during the 1920s.

The resulting Polychromie Architecturale pop-up/pullout colour guide was released by the Swiss wallpaper manufacturer Salubra in order to help clients find and match colours for their interior designs. The book contains wallpaper samples and 12 pages dedicated to 43 colour shades.

Le Corbusier's colour theory

The interactive sliding panels of colour allow the book user to see what different combinations of colour look like. Le Corbusier's theory was that colour could be divided into three sections: Constructive natural pigments, which helped to change space perceptions, Dynamic synthetic pigments for emotional contrast and Transitional transparent synthetic colours that could change appearance without affecting volume.

Each colour was believed to have its own function, from weight, depth perception and unity to psychological effects. Le Corbusier would use these colour theories to create two series for the Swiss wallpaper company, one featuring plain colour combinations and the other with bold, large-scale graphic shapes.

With recognition for the Swiss-French architect currently showing no signs of waning (Unesco added 17 of Le Corbusier's sites to its World Heritage list this year), the Swann Galleries in New York are confident of a successful sale of the rare Polychromie Architecturale: Die Farbenklaviaturen, expected to go for up to US$3,500 (RM15,618). — AFP-Relaxnews

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