THE AESTHETIC EYE OF JOHN PAWSON
When one gazes upon the purity of a John Pawson interior, with its clean and unfaltering lines, intense absence of colour balanced by the warm richness of simple wood, and incredible mastery of light, perception, and containment, one would never realize that a vast library of bold and soulful digital images would provoke such a profoundly minimalist inspiration. To share insight to his aesthetic eye, John Pawson has carefully edited his library of over 200,000 digital images and presented 272 annotated selections in a new edition to be released by Phaidon this March. Each photo, randomly shot by the legendary architect throughout the course of his career, retells a story of contrasts and of simple beauty and have been meticulously organised to pair unrelated events and moments into a visual vernacular that only Pawson could construct.
“My instinct is to try to translate things into a form I can hold onto and come back to – even letters and odd lines from books,” Pawson says. “You never know when a picture capturing the texture of a wall in Syria in the midday sun might be just what you need as a reference to convey an idea to a client or colleague. When a member of the team returns from a site visit full of enthusiasm for a building of detail they have seen, my reflex response is always, ‘show me the photograph!”