Monday, April 5, 2010

Was Gaudi gaudy?

The Spanish architect and designer Antoni Gaudi was considered gaudy by some. Yet others found his work inspiring and individualist. He was an architect and designer. Gaudi expressed himself in stained glass, ceramics, wrought iron and furniture as well as architecture.
Antoni was interested in tonal values as much as colour. He used natural forms; sinuous and plant like. He would use clay or plaster to model his design ideas in 3D sculptures. 
Gaudi designed apartment blocks, churches and parks. He was influenced by the Art and Craft movement, Viollet le Duc and from his own desire to design without artistic reference. His Casa Batllo 1904-1906 brief was for the apartment to be refaced and refurbished. 

He created interiors with undulating ceilings unusually shaped windows and door frames. The furniture he designed was biomorphic and carved in solid oak. Panel doors were studded with small mirrors.
The Casa Mila a six story apartment block was begun in 1905. The exterior made of rippled cement was created around open courtyards. Balconies have iron railings and the chimneys and air vents are sculpture like structures. He also designed the furniture.  
Gaudi considered aspect and ergonomic principles important. He used bits of rubble, bricks, shade of pottery, paint and whitewash to create unique work. He also used the advanced technologies of the industrial age. This is how many Art Nouveau designers differ from the Art and Craft movement designers. He stated:
‘Those who look for the laws of nature 
as a support for their new work 
collaborate with the creator’ 

Art Nouveau was originally a term used for the French and Belgium designs of the early 20th century. It was only later the term was extended to include work like Gaudi’s. It has become the term used for design created in nontraditional naturalistic styles in many countries during this era.

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