Friday, April 6, 2007

Nice Art by Antoni Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (25 June 1852 - 10 June 1926) - sometimes referred to by the Castilian translation of his name, Antonio Gaudí - was an Spanish-Catalan architect who belonged to the Modernisme (Art Nouveau) movement and was famous for his unique style and highly individualistic designs.

Gaudí's first works were designed in the style of gothic and traditional Spanish architectural modes, but he soon developed his own distinct sculptural style. French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, who promoted an evolved form of gothic architecture, proved a major influence on Gaudí. But the student surpassed the master architect and contrived highly original designs - irregular and fantastically intricate. Some of his greatest works, most notably La Sagrada Família, have an almost hallucinatory power.
Arch and spiral staircase.

He integrated the parabolic arch and hyperboloid structures, nature's organic shapes, and the fluidity of water into his architecture. While designing buildings, he observed the forces of gravity and related catenary principles. (Gaudí designed many of his structure upside down by hanging various weights on interconnected strings or chains, using gravity to calculate catenaries for a natural curved arch or vault.)

Using the trencadís technique, Gaudí often decorated surfaces with broken tiles.

The architect's work has been categorized as Art Nouveau architecture, a precursor to modern architecture. But his adoption of biomorphic shapes rather than orthogonal lines put him in a category unto himself (in Latin, sui generis). His style was later echoed by that of Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000).

Though hailed as a genius, some hypothesize that Gaudí was color blind and that it was only in collaboration with Josep Maria Jujol - an architect twenty seven years his junior whom he acknowledged as a genius in his own right - that he produced his greatest works.


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