Oscar Niemeyer, one of the world’s most prominent modern architects, is renowned for his light, airy and fanciful structures. Famous for designing the capital city of Brasília, and for collaborating with Le Corbusier on the United Nations headquarters in New York, Niemeyer was a pioneer in curving concrete and giant, graceful arches. The Brazilian architect died last year in Rio de Janeiro at age 104.
EL: You’re the first leader in the creative arts we’ve interviewed, and the first who is not from North America.
Niemeyer: I am honored.
EL: You found beauty in reinforced concrete. How?
Niemeyer: Strength and beauty may coexist. I believe not that “form follows function,” but that “form follows beauty.” My work follows the liberated, sensual curves of the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Surprise and enchantment are my goals.
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