At one of the extremes of 20-century architecture there were the modernists Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier and Bauhaus’ Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. They made impersonal and cool buildings in the “International Style” in vogue at the time that celebrated whiteness, straight lines and steel and glass as primary building materials. The descendents of the style — the box-like apartments and skyscraper office blocks that are ubiquitous in any modern city — function as the architectural emblems of capitalism.
At the other end was the environmentally aware Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000). His current retrospective, “Remainders of an Ideal: The Vision and Practices of Hundertwasser,” is currently showing at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto till May 21, and will travel to the Musee d’art Mercian Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture as of June 10.