Modern Like Me
When analyzing a form of art it is important to understand the context in which it was created, as well as the creator. This is especially true when anazlying the Casa Malaparte, designed by Curzio Malaparte. Curzio referred to the Casa Malaparte as “a house like me,” and wanted it to be a house-as-manifesto for modern architecture. Casa Malaparte emanates a sense of modernity with many architectural elements from the see through fire place, to the white curvilinear bris soleil on its rooftop terrace. Though these expressions were viewed as modern concepts, what ultimately made this house modern was the intent of its creator. Curzio Malaparte was a man untied from any one belief. As an extension of his artistic nature, Casa Malaparte doesn’t cater to a particular style of architecture. The understanding and deconstruction of the home’s design and illustration of modernity is intrinsically tied to the nature of Curzio Malaparte, the artist, himself.
Curzio Malaparte’s birth name was Kurt Erich Suckert; his father was a German Protestant and his mother a Milanese Catholic. Curzio began writing poetry at the age of 14 and was similarly interested in literature, theatre, and history. After the First World War, Curzio gained popularity as a journalist having ties to the Fascist regime. When Benito Mussolini declared himself as dictator, Kurt changed his name to “Curzio Malaparte” (bad part) as if proclaiming his role as a nuisance to the state. Curzio’s writings, mostly controversial, often mocked the regime and eventually led to his arrest and exile to the Island of Lipari. It was on Lipari where Curzio fell in love with the sea, the sky and his solitude. After serving his sentence, Curzio looked to build ...
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The day I set myself to building a house, I did not believe that I would eventually design a portrait of myself, one much better than what I have designed until now in literature. I never had the opportunity to show what I am, as when I tried to construct a house.5
1Talamona, Marida. 1997. "Die Casa Malaparte und das Kap Massullo = The casa Malaparte and the Capo Massullo." Daidalos no. 63: pg.46.
2Michaelangelo Sabatino. Pride in Modesty. Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated, 1969 pg. 94
2Michaelangelo Sabatino. Pride in Modesty. Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated, 1969 pg. 108
4 Gary Indiana. Utopia's Debris : Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books, 2008. pg. 117
5Marida Talamona. 1997. "Die Casa Malaparte und das Kap Massullo = The casa Malaparte and the Capo Massullo." Daidalos no. 63: pg.55.
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