Complete Prints Portfolio, Unite, by Le Corbusier for Auction on artnet

artnet Auctions announce the sale of a Le Corbusier’s complete prints portfolio, Unité, 1953 (with additional black and white set) from the collection of renowned architect Mohinda N. Kawlra.

Only the first 30 prints portfolios of this edition of 130 contain the full 37 prints—17 color prints and 20 black and white prints on Rives BFK paper. This Le Corbusier prints portfolio offered on artnet Auctions is part of these complete sets, which rarely appear for sale at public auction. A single print from this portfolio, plate 2, was successfully sold at auction in Munich, Germany, on Saturday, May 14, 2011 for USD 4,158 Hammer.

Le Corbusier is one of the fathers of Modern architecture and the International Style. Though best known for his recognizable and unique architectural style, Le Corbusier was also a skilled designer, painter, and printmaker. Le Corbusier’s modernist and imaginative figures are enlivened by his vibrant colors. This prints portfolio was conceived and printed following the construction of the Unité d’habitation in Marseille, a realization of Le Corbusier’s urban planning scheme La Ville Radieuse (The Radiant City). This urban system consisted of a series of housing blocks, or “unités,” and embodied Le Corbusier’s vision for the angular, raw, and geometric philosophy of New Brutalism in postwar France. This portfolio of prints conveys Le Corbusier’s exploration of this new philosophy, presenting in series individuals in their “unité” to convey the new place of the individual within the modernist urban landscape.

The present Le Corbusier lot for sale on artnet Auctions was purchased by Mohindra N. Kawlra in New York over 30 years ago and has remained in his possession and been kept in the original portfolio box ever since. Kawlra is a renowned Modernist architect, who spent much of his career working in Paris and New York. In the late 1950s he worked directly with Le Corbusier along with architects Vladimir Bodiansky and George Henry Pingusson. In the 1960s he took up residence in New York and shortly thereafter purchased the present lot. The prints portfolio remains in pristine original condition.

This Le Corbusier prints portfolio is available for bidding on artnet Auctions through June 9th.

Image: Le Corbusier, Unité (portfolio of 37 with title and foreword), 1953. Aquatint, ed. 5/130, 22.5 x 18 inches each. Estimate: USD 55,000–75,000.

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