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Barragan exhibition criticism was unfair

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Letters

I read the AJ's review of the Barragan exhibition at the Design Museum in London after my own visit there and was shocked by the negative tone of Stephen Greenberg's piece (AJ 22.3.01) Unlike Greenberg, I found the Barragan exhibition to be very worthwhile: it fuelled my interest in this important contemporary designer.

It is true that there were disappointing aspects of the presentation of the material and it is difficult to relate the wellknown images with the complex plans.

However, the use of light and shade, wall and tree, the garden as an outdoor room, the meshing of the minimal aesthetic within the traditional city and the use of colour are features that are much more interesting than the dismissive comment 'his whole language really comes from Le Corbusier, gleaned during two formative years in Europe' would suggest.

The concluding remarks about Barragan's fortunate position in Mexican society (hardly unique in a successful architect) should not be allowed to deflect from the pleasure this work exudes and the influence it has had, perhaps more outside England, where the sun is not so strong.

John Napier, Sheppard Robson, Wilton Square, London N1

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