Fragments of Utopia: Collage Reflections of Heroic Modernism by David Wild


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Hyphen Press, 1998. 112 pages. 126 Colour Illustrations.

'A set of collages made from mainly contemporary sources, which recount episodes in modernist architecture in the twentieth century. This is a story of a fragile and occasionally noble dream, in the context of a history going violently wrong. These images are supplemented by short parallel prose meditations. Wild’s images have a wonderful rightness of form. But they are far from idealized: politically charged, they have a disconcerting sense of erotic's and low humour.

he book reproduces a series of the collages made by David Wild. Their subject is modern architecture in the first half of the twentieth century: in the Netherlands, in Russia, and in the work of Le Corbusier. The method of the book is to show a collage on a right-hand page; then on the facing page is a prose commentary by Wild and supporting smaller images.

Introducing the book, David Wild explains that the impulse for this work lies in the aftermath of a fire in his house: his scorched books lent themselves to collage. He goes on to sketch the cultural-political climate in Britain over the last 40 years: the backdrop to his work as an architect and (less directly) to this book.'