Poking Fun at Modernism’s Iconic Houses
January 27, 2012
‘Iconic Houses’ (detail) by Grant Snider
Modernist architecture has been the butt of many a joke since falling into disfavor sometime in the 60s (the real joke was postmodernism, but its hard to level jokes at a subject so ravaged by perpetual abuse). These attempts at humor usually fall short of their intended goal and rarely pass on any genuine comic merit, relying instead on misinformed tropes parading modernism’s supposed failures. The funniest architecture jokes are perhaps the most irreverent bits, like illustrator Grant Snider’s “Iconic Houses” comic strip which renders the rectilinear purity of the Farnsworth House and Fallingwater in blasphemous squiggly linework. I like the Villa Savoye clip the best, which seems especially salient when some of the best modernist works have been stripped of their original social imperatives and repackaged for the elite class. Then again, that’s exactly who these houses were built for in the first place. But I’m taking this too seriously. After all, those are MUTANT rodents chewing away at Mies’s steel beams.