First published in 1966, Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture is widely considered a foundational text of postmodernism and has become an essential document in architectural theory and criticism. This two-volume boxed set pairs a facsimile of the original edition with a compendium of new scholarship on and around Venturi’s seminal treatise. Essays by leading architecture historians and critics—a number of which were presented at a conference co-organized by The Museum of Modern Art to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Complexity and Contradiction in 2016—address issues such as the circumstances of the book’s publication, its prose style, and its relationship to Venturi’s own built work, or reflect on broader themes, among them the politics of the architectural profession, the idea of complexity in the mid-1960s, and the connection between architecture and modern art. Additional short commentaries by distinguished contemporary practitioners likewise attest to the book’s enduring influence. Together, these two volumes expand the horizons of—and introduce a new generation to—Venturi’s “gentle manifesto.”
The second volume of this boxed set is edited by Martino Stierli and David B. Brownlee, and features essays by Jean-Louis Cohen, Lee Ann Custer, Peter Fröhlicher, Dianne Harris, Andrew Leach, Mary McLeod, Stanislaus von Moos, Joan Ockman, Emmanuel Petit, and Martino Stierli; commentaries by Deborah Berke, Sam Jacob, Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, Michael Meredith, and Pier Paolo Tamburelli; and interviews with Rem Koolhaas and Stanley Tigerman.
Volume One: 144 pages; 350 illustrations. Volume Two: 192 pages; 75 illustrations.