Venturi

Venturi

[ven-toor-ee]
Venturi, Adolfo, 1856-1941, Italian art historian. Director of Galleries and Museums in Italy, Venturi completed his exhaustive history of Italian art as far as the 16th cent. He was skilled in interpreting the authenticity of art works and made several significant judgments concerning important Renaissance pieces. His son, Lionello Venturi, 1885-1961, taught the history of art at the Univ. of Rome. Central to his thought was the notion that a work of art must be judged as to how well it expresses the intention of its creator. Venturi was primarily interested in modern art, believing that it informs and illuminates the art of the past. His major work is his History of Art Criticism (tr. 1936).
Venturi, Robert, 1925-, American architect, b. Philadelphia. In his writings, Venturi inveighed against the banality of modern architecture in the postwar period. He argued instead for a more inclusive, contextual approach to design that heralded the postmodern era in architecture. Among his early large works is Guild House in Philadelphia (1962-66), whose entrance is distinguished by a bold, billboardlike sign. A more restrained historicizing mode has characterized his later public works, such as Gordon Wu Hall at Princeton (1982-84), the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery, London (1991), the somewhat flamboyant but not overwhelming Seattle Art Museum (1991), and the expanded Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (1996). Venturi is also an important theorist whose writings include the influential Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966); Learning from Las Vegas (1972), written with Stephen Izenour and Denise Scott-Brown (Venturi's wife and architectural partner); and A View from the Campidoglio: Selected Essays, 1953-1984 (1984). He was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1991.

See C. Mead, ed., The Architecture of Robert Venturi (1989); S. von Moos, Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates: Buildings and Projects, 1986-1998 (1999).

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