Ornament And Crime And Adolf Loos

1752 Words8 Pages
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word ornament is described as a small, fancy object that is put on something else to make it more attractive. The aim of this essay is to examine two texts in relation to the theme of Modernism and the rejection of ornament. I will primarily focus on Adolf Loos; writing “Ornament and Crime” and Le Corbusier 's “The Law of Ripolin: Whitewash”.1 Adolf Loos begins with the discussion on the Papuan people of New Guinea,(Fig 1.) detailing how they tattoo ornamentation onto their face along with many other belongings. He compares the modern day man and how most them are labelled as criminals when embellished with tattoos. He states how about eighty percent of prisoners have tattoos and they are legally named criminals. When ornamentation first came to life it was associated with expression and revealing inner creativity. This is in stark contrast to modern day life where if a man was found expressing his artistic abilities on a wall he would be considered exorbitant. 2 Loos has a theory that “the evolution of culture is synonymous with the removal of ornament from utilitarian objects”. The idea of this discovery was playing into the rejection of ornament in modern time. People were dismayed by this revelation. It formed the opinion that no one could create new ornamentation and were ultimately stuck in the past with regard to decoration. He compared this to the ornamentation created by different races in the past who dedicated their

More about Ornament And Crime And Adolf Loos

Open Document