Art: Less Is More

It is easy to throw stones at the glass houses of Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. To traditionalists, who want their living and working places to combine comfort and beauty, Mies's stark, steel-ribbed structures seem as sterile—and ominous—as a steer's skeleton burned white in the desert sun. But Mies* is one of the most important architects of his time. Together with Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, he has had a profound influence on cityscapes of the 20th century.

Since he settled in the U.S. in 1938, after shutting down...

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