What was the cultural significance of Antoni Gaudi?


Video Version

antonio_gaudi_self_portrait.jpg
Self Portrait

Introduction

Antoni Gaudi was a Spanish revolutionary architect from the 19th Century, he was born in 1852 and deceased passed away in 1926. His perception of modern architecture helped him carve and shape many well known areas in Spain. Today, he is known world wide for his architecture and his unique originality. This is mainly why he has been historically significant.

Artistically influenced…

Gaudi was a pioneer in Naturalism. In his childhood he spent many hours observing nature developing his artistic appeal for it. He incorporated all kinds of simple elements of nature in his creations such as flowers, tree branches or animals.

The other term associated with Gaudi is modernism, modernism is a revolutionary movement which today is considered a little 'vague'. Although, its a term based upon art sometimes thought of as abstract or conceptual. In fact in this matter, he was just ahead of his time and that his style was incredibly original.
green.jpg
Naturalistic Impression

gaudi_lizard.jpg
Animalistic Impression

sagrada-familia1.jpg
La Sagrada Famillial

His naturalism can be seen in these snapshots above, showing a chimney pot made of apples and a lizard. La Sagrada Famillial, one of his masterpieces: a giant gothic cathedral. The only world-wide to still be underconstruction. Spanish government estimate that the whole cathedral will be finished around the 2060's.

Gaudi once claimed these statements about art:
"Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support of their new works collaborate with the creator."
"Color in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic."

The above statements that Gaudi made seem to make sense if you compare his work alongside. For example with the snapshot of the lizard, it appears that there are random colors in certain places. If observed closely, it helps to highlight the frame of the lizard, in such a way that it makes it look even more powerful.

New York Skyscraper

A remarkable work of art was conceived by Gaudi at the beginning of the 20th century, when a wealthy, New-Yorker, business man asked him to design a 5-star luxurious hotel. The hotel was never actually built as it was indeed too artistic and expensive. However, it is important because it shows his international significance over a long period of time.

The location of this hotel would have been the exact pin-point of where the twin towers once stood. After the 9/11 attacks, the original plans were reconsidered, but it was thought that the 'rocket' shaped building didn't have the best connotations. Ironically, rockets were far from being invented at the time he concetualized the design...


antonio-gaudi-new-york-city-2.jpg
Original plans

antonio_gaudi_new_york_city.jpg
'rocket' shaped building

twin-towers.jpg
Twin Towers



Political & Social insight

Gaudi believed that artistic inspiration drew from nature (or naturalism) but so it did from the political and social environment that one lived in. Gaudi was a Catalonian patriotic.

Catalonia is an area in the north-east of Spain and over hundreds of years; extremists have tried to make Catalonia an independent country. So with a devotion to Catalonia, Faith & God, Gaudi achieved incredible masterpieces. This is why many considered him to be “God’s Architect” and this was reflected in his work.

Conclusion

Gaudi was important from an artistic and patriotic point of view, he had an individual and unique sense of design. He was ‘historically significant’ in his country and world wide. Gaudi was able to influence people’s minds about and people's perception of things in the past and still today.Not only in the sense of an ‘artist’, but his aspiration for Catalonia has lead many current Catalonian’s to justify their patriotism through his ideals and his art.

69.jpg

1852 – 1926

For further reading...