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Who has seen Adolf Loos?

Images of Adolf Loos's architecture in the media 1899-1927


This dissertation is not about what the architecture of Adolf Loos is, but what could be inferred of it from its visual representation in the media during a given time. A matter of epistemology, not of ontology.


The result is a Catalogue Raisonée containing 120 images of Adolf Loos’s architecture identified in the printed European media between 1899 and 1927. It includes cartoons, photographs, renders, plans and sketches, deployed in publications of all levels of specialization, from tabloids to interior architecture magazines, written in a number of languages.


Three essays sort the information according to one or more variables to inquire unchartered territory of Loos’s relationship with images. They explore the extent to which images and texts on Loos ran separately in the media; how the representation of interiors versus exteriors varied in time; which projects were published the most; the relationship between image quality and the level of specialization of publications; or how the newness or the out-datedness of Loos’s images is defined by comparison to other images within the same publications.


Questions are normally asked thinking of architects as the recipients of these images. Thus the thesis can help us understand the role of Loos’s visual dimension -not just his written dimension - on the development of modernist architecture outside Austria.


Vienna, June 2020

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