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CRITIC'S CHOICE

REVIEW

Geneva, home to Le Corbusier's Immeuble Clarté apartment block of 1930-33, is about to host a major exhibition on him.

At the Musée Rath from 9 March to 6 August, Le Corbusier or the Synthesis of the Arts aims to present a man of many disciplines - 'a superb painter and sculptor as well as designer, engineer, writer and poet'. It includes books, models and sculptures but paintings dominate - over 130 of them.

Though 'superb' is a questionable adjective for Le Corbusier as painter, there's no doubt that his art was thoroughly entwined with his architecture. In his book Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms, William Curtis juxtaposes a plan of Villa Stein de Monzie and a diagram of a Purist still life and traces how the cosmic and mythic imagery of Corb's post-war paintings informs his later buildings (see picture).

But the paintings don't gain much from being seen in the flesh, so the success of the Geneva show will depend on just how effectively it's been curated and installed - on its ability to make connections between the various disciplines that Corb was adept in and the fundamental one of architecture. The catalogue may do this job just as well (www. ville-ge. ch/musinfo/frame. html).

While Le Corbusier was working on his early villas in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Josef Hoffmann was completing a major monument of Art Nouveau - the Palais Stoclet, Brussels (1905-11). The building isn't open to the public and can be difficult to see, given the amount of traffic surging past it, but it takes centre stage in Yearning for Beauty: The Wiener Werkstatte and the Stoclet House: an exhibition at the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, until 25 May (www. bozar. be). As with shows at the V&A, though, objects are the real focus - among them, some pieces from one of Hoffmann's other great commissions, the Purkersdorf Sanatorium in Vienna.

More products from this febrile period of design, when the elegant and excessive rub shoulders, are at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, from 16 March-23 July in L'Art Nouveau: Maison Bing. Here the spotlight is on Paris and the shop which Siegfried Bing, the Terence Conran of his day, ran 'to promote a modern style' (www. expo-bing. be).

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