Life as Art

Life as Art book Jan-Erik Andersson

210 × 297 mm, hard cover
304 pages
writers Jan-Erik Andersson, Mervi Appel, Yrjö Haila, Marja-Terttu Kivirinta
foreword Penelope Curtis
layout Marjo Malin
ISBN 978-952-7226-42-1
October 2019

The artist Jan-Erik Andersson has been at the frontiers of art and society for almost forty years now. He has constantly shifted strategies and methods, but always held onto to the same idea: that art can share in the creation of architectural and social space. In the 1980s, Andersson still mainly appeared in “normal” gallery and art-museum contexts. He subsequently switched to performance, architecture, installation, environmental art, artistic research and media art. He is best known for his internationally recognized Gesamtkunstwerk, the Life on a Leaf house, where he lives with his family. This volume profiles Andersson’s life’s work spanning forty years.

Life on a Leaf

In this intriguing book, Finnish artist Jan-Erik Andersson writes about his experience of dwelling and living in a “total artwork”. By addressing seemingly naïve questions like: Why don’t we build houses shaped like flowers, shoes, or a leaf? Andersson intentionally challenges the invisible borders guarding the conventional definitions of architecture. The vision he has shared through many projects with his collaborator, architect Erkki Pitkäranta, led him into a long and successful journey to build a leaf-shaped family house, Life on a Leaf, based on his own art and stories. This extraordinary house, in Turku, Finland, was completed in 2011. Stressing the important role of art in the design of buildings, the book describes different ways of bringing contemporary art into architecture – not primarily as free-standing objects but as an integrated part of the structure of the house.

Total Design: Architecture and Interiors of Iconic Modern Houses

Category: Architecture – History – Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
Publisher: Rizzoli
Pages: 304
Publish Date: October 14, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8478-4365-7

“Celebrating the ultimate masterpieces of modernist design, from the Arts and Crafts movement up to the twenty-first century, Total Design offers an intimate tour of houses conceived as complete works of art. Each of the spectacular houses making up Total Design demonstrates how an architect realized a unifying vision through all aspects of design—architecture, furniture, fittings, decorative objects, color, and gardens. Presenting masterpieces of modern architecture conceived as complete works of art inside and out, author George H. Marcus, a veteran chronicler of modernist design, delivers a highly accessible tour of the creations of some of the twentieth century’s greatest architects and designers, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and Gio Ponti. Together these masterworks of design offer a stunning survey of the many modes of modernist design, from the inventive refinement of Pierre Chareau to the colorful Nordic forms of Finn Juhl to the twenty-first-century expressionism of Daniel Libeskind.”

George H. Marcus: Architecture and Interiors of Iconic Modern Houses