Robert Warren ARIBA
This collection of works is by mid-century architect Robert Warren ARIBA. The collection includes architectural designs and plans dating from the 1940s and 1950s, which evidence Warren’s flair for progressive design, working in the post war modernist idiom. Warren was involved in designing large municipal buildings of glass and concrete, as well as urban domestic housing, and bespoke commissions such as a modernist church in Sweden.
The strong aesthetic of modernism and its early architectural successes, in the mould of Le Corbusier and the designers of Walter Gropius’s Bauhaus, came to be associated with prosperity and progress. In the post war era, modernist design was heralded as the style of the century, and with it came a strong sense of social responsibility and ambition to raise the living conditions of the masses.
Robert Warren’s architectural practice is evident in this body of abstract works too, with many of the works incorporating architectural motifs or having an ordered, constructivist aesthetic. Dating from 1945 to 1979, these works are also highly experimental and individualist, drawing on a whole range of varied influences of European Modernism, including Cubism, Expressionism and Surrealism.
Warren’s artwork in part resembles the abstract, geometric compositions of Paul Klee, and Der Blaue Reiter artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, whilst paintings with more figurative elements recall the work of Surrealists such as Giorgio de Chirico and his organic forms resemble the biomorphic abstraction of Jean Arp and Joan Miró. Expressive pieces also show an affinity with the work of his contemporary, Jackson Pollock. Warren’s colour palette, combining bright primary colours with more subtle earthy hues, exemplifies mid-century modern design.
Robert Warren also produced a body of work during wartime, depicting scenes of bomb damage in London, and tanks and military convoys in Normandy, Holland and Germany.