Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ten books about artist & architect Antoni Gaudí

Christian Science Monitor contributor Casey Lee came up with a list of ten top books on artist and architect Antoni Gaudí, including:
"Antoni Gaudí, 1852-1926: From Nature to Architecture," by Peter Gossel and Maria Antonietta Crippa

Part of a Taschen series on modern architecture, "Antoni Gaudí, 1852-1926: From Nature to Architecture" includes gorgeous photographs and text by Maria Antonietta Crippa, a tenured professor at the History of Architecture at the Polytechnic of Milan. In the text, Crippa considers the childhood, styling decisions, and ultimate goals of Gaudí.

Gaudí had a humble enough start to life as the son of a coppersmith. He decided that he was enamored with architecture at a young age and went to school in Barcelona. The city would become both his muse and his workplace, the site in which his most famous buildings would appear.

This book explores the way that the Industrial Revolution, the period Gaudí was raised in, served as a catalyst for his own works. Gaudí's goal was to both capture the history of and make a name for his home region of Catalonia. This focus on the past was particularly important to Gaudí. He strongly desired to capture the best parts of the past because Spain and the rest of Europe were modernizing. He saw his architecture as part of a fight between beauty and the drive toward efficiency.

The book's photographs clearly demonstrate the way that the textures, peculiar shapes, and designs of Gaudí's buildings make them a joy to view and impossible to forget.

Gaudí doesn’t use the typical outlines for his buildings, and shuns the dull colors that had been used before. His buildings make a statement. Although influenced by neo-gothic design, this style ultimately became a stepping stones to the more fanciful designs of Gaudí. Gaudí is also famously known for using bold colors and unusual bits of material in his work.

Although unusual, Gaudí's buildings were well received by the general public. They also helped to put Barcelona into the limelight. Gaudí’s works of art gave a name and unique identity to the city that he loved.

Gaudí's works became an inspiration to many, largely because his style of architecture was so unique.

This book covers the best known buildings created by Gaudí, particularly Barcelona's unfinished Sagrada Família cathedral.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue