E-1027 and the Drôle De Guerre

Benton, Tim (2017). E-1027 and the Drôle De Guerre. In: Weaver, Thomas ed. AA Files, Volume 74. Architectural Association, pp. 123–143.


The article by Beatriz Colomina variously entitled 'War on Architecture' or 'Battle Lines' has come to be accepted as an authoritative statement of Le Corbusier's violation of Eileen Gray's house E1027. In part her article was based on a curious article written by an Egyptian painter Samir Rafi. While accepting the aesthetic violence caused by the addition of Le Corbusier's paintings in the house, I challenge the argument that they represented an attack on Eileen Gray, whom Le Corbusier barely knew. I also challenge the veracity and credibility of Rafi's article, which is supported by no evidence except some drawings which are clearly fakes.

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