Publication date 5/1/2001
9.62 x 12 inches (24.4 x 30.5 cm), Hardcover
172 pages, 75 color illustrations, 100 b/w illustrations
Carton qty: 8;
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The Hamptons, New York's fashionable summer beach resorts, are well known as weekend havens for city-dwellers who relish their idyllic setting on the Atlantic shore. Once quiet agricultural land, Eastern Long Island first became popular among artists, architects, writers, and society patrons in the 1920s, when it served as a breeding ground for modernism. From the avant-garde influence of luminaries like Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and Willem de Kooning, to the high modernism of Le Corbusier, Philip Johnson, and Richard Meier, new ideas about art, architecture, and modern living transformed the Hamptons and ultimately made it the destination of choice for those seeking respite from the battles of Wall Street and Madison Avenue. In Weekend Utopia Alastair Gordon traces this fascinating and complicated trajectory, both in architectural terms--looking at modest beach houses and modern mansions alike--and in the life stories of the world-famous artists and designers, whose influence is felt on "The Island" even today. Over 175 photographs and illustrations detail the architecture, interiors, and nuances of these beautiful weekend homes, and provide an intimate portrait of the people who inhabit them. This engrossing book combines architectural history with a broad social perspective and paints a comprehensive picture of an area that in many ways shaped modern American culture.
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The Hamptons, Pre-Puffy and Seinfeld, Newsweek:
"In his engaging architectural and social history, Weekend Utopia, Alastair Gordon details the modern experiments that once dotted the dunes."
On the Beach, Vanity Fair:
". . .a fine guide to American modernism's foremost laboratories of style."
"A fascinating chronicle, copiously illustrated, of the Hamptons as seen through an architects eyesa guided tour from the early vacation homes to Ira Rennerts one-hundred-car-garage mega-mansion. Indispensable for both architecture buffs and Hamptonites with a roof over their heads."
The New York Times:
"For a younger, braver generation, WEEKEND UTOPIA offers an alternative to home sweet home."
"Gordons work will delight you. . . . His ideas are rooted in the tangible intangible. . . . He empowers through his vision and passion."
"Gordons book evokes a sophisticated aesthetic, both modern and simple, and a sensibility that could only have come from the Hamptons."
Book of the Week, Evening Standard:
"Beautifully reproduced, mainly black-and-white photographs fill this stunning book. . ."
The New York Times:
"What to read in the hammock? A Hamptons history, of course."
Style Manitoba (Canada):
"Alastair Gordon gives us both an architectural and social history. As well, there are pages of beautiful boxy beach houses with flat roofs, glass walls, and open plan livingmasterpieces of minimalism among the dunes and potato fields. Dreamy."
Book Currents, The New Yorker:
"WEEKEND UTOPIA, by the lifelong Hamptonian Alastair Gordon, explores the idea that the beach house was the sonnet form of American architecture.'"
Utopia Dissed?, The Observatory:
"Mr. Gordon's book is a wide-ranging cultural history of a very particular place, and it's told in a very particular way: through the evolution of architectural style. What's amazing, and heartening, is that he believes, in the end, despite a numbing profusion of prefab Palladian windows, that the spirit of the Hamptons endures: The place remains surprisingly unspoiled."
"Weekend Utopia offers a colorful look at dozens of unique houses from the birth of modernism through its apotheosis, and an inside perspective on those brave, lucky soulsscions and artists alikewho have called them home."
"A compelling and revelatory contribution to the history of modern architecture."
Waterside Modernism, Publishers Weekly:
". . .Alastair Gordon has an insider's knowledge of the area. . . Gordons feel for the convergence of arts, architecture and commerce is unerring."
Book Review Digest:
"Alastair Gordon, an architecture writer and longtime Hamptons summer resident, brings to vivid life a century in the architectural and social history of the East End."
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