BARCELONA -- What is there more symbolic of Barcelona
than the temple of Sagrada Familia? What better represents the physonomy
of the city than the chimneys of the Pedrera or the masks on the balconies
of Casa Batllo? Antonio Gaudí left his footprints behind in Barcelona.
The city will return his favor, this coming year, during the celebration
of the 150th anniversary of the Catalonian architect's birth, with two
weeks of expositions and an enormous popular festival.
Antonio Gaudí (1852-1926) is the architect who has received
the most international prestige for Barcelona and the one for whom the
largest number of tourists have passed down the streets, camera in hand,
ready to return home with memories of the the Catalonian genius. To
commemorate the 150th anniversary of Gaudí's birth, the City Hall -
with much help from the cultural centers, foundations, and museums of
the city - has prepared a program which, under the label of "International
Year of Gaudí" (starting in the Spring of 2002 and lasting through the
end of the year), will review in two weeks of expositions the many different
facets of Gaudí's work.
The celebration of Gaudí's genius will begin, on a date
still to be determined (sometime during Spring, 2002), with a great
festival, which the City promises will be, "full of color and fantasy."
This will be the first of many commemorative events - expositions that
recover the figure of the architect through his many faces, and the
many facets of his work.
For example, while the Bank Foundation of Catalonia
will establish their main office in la Pedrera, which will become an
exhibition of the decorative arts of Gaudí, the Center of Contemporary
culture - from the Spring until the Summer - through this Gaudí exhibition,
will review the infuencing forces of Gaudí's works, in hopes of finding
out what it was about his works, that was so successful in influencing
so many artists since. One exhibition which will help in contextualizing
Gaudí's work will be the Gódia Foundation's display of works by painters
and sculptors who were Gaudí's friends, such as Graner, Mir, Llimona,
Regoyos, Opisso, Mani, and Torres-García. Also helping out will be a
work prepared by Palau Güell - an exhibition that highlights the relationship
that Gaudí had with Eusebi Güell - a friendship which was born in 1878
and lasted until the death of the industrial Maecenas in 1918. In these
three decades, Gaudí designed, in addition to Palau Güell, the pavillions
of Finca Güell, the church at Colonia Güell, and Park Güell. Two of
these sites will be converted into stages for the programming of the
Year of Gaudí: in the pavillion of the entrance to Park Güell one wil
be able to discover how Gaudí understood the concept of Urbanism; while
in Colonia Güell, there will appear an exhibit demonstrating how Gaudí
designed the structure of the Crypt using mathematics.
Moreover, the Miró Foundation will recall the
series of etchings on Gaudí which Miró produced in 1979;
while the History of the City Museum will confront Gaudí's relationship
with Jacint Verdaguer.
The Year of Gaudí celebrations will also be held in
cities besides Barcelona as well. Exhibitions will be held at the Reina
Sofia Art Center - between October and December - in Madrid, and at
the Castell de Púbol in Girona, where the relationship between Gaudí
and Dalí - one of Gaudí's early mentors - will be explored. There will
appear a display button with some words fromt the famous Empordanian
painter, "Elevate towers of living flesh and living bones to the living
sky for the execellence of our Mediterranean, this was the architecture
of Gaudí, inventor of the Mediterranean Gothic destined to shine against
the ancient sun of Greece", as recalls one of the manuscripts of the
Advance the Agenda
The City Hall of Barcelona has released the first advance
of the program for the International Year of Gaudí. The program can
be accessed through a website (www.gaudi2002.bcn.es) dedicated to the
celebration. This webpage, in addition to offering complete information
on the events in the city, also offers biographic data on the architect,
images of his works captured by Catalonian photographers and commentaries
on Gaudí by other illustrious architects of the 20th Century.
As if that wasn't enough, the Private Theater Initiative
will also get involved in the birthday celebration. The company Focus
is preparing a great musical spectacle on the art of Gaudí and it will
be shown at the Sports Palace starting in the beginning months of next
year. Dramatist Jordi Galceran, musician Albert Guinovart, and movie
director Manuel Huerga, have already begun working on the musical, which
is set to premier on St. Jordi's Day, 2002.
A Genius Without Straight Lines
He didn't think that the straight line was always the
best way to connect to points, and this belief made him into one of
the most unique architects of his time. Between the Spring and Summer
of 2002, El Saló del Tinell, will attempt to explain the richness of
forms in Gaudí's buildings in "Gaudí, espai, geometria I estructura"
- an exhibition of technical character, but which will not leave out
Gaudí's didactic facet.
El Saló del Tinnel will not be the only one to be involved
with this engagement. The temple of Sagrada Familia will also attempt
to reveal Gaudí's style of working to the Barceloneses with "L Obrador
de Gaudí", which will utilize many conserved photographs of his work
on Sagrada Familia and the tools he used. This exposition will explain
not only the way in which Gaudí faced his work, but also the more scientific
side of his art.
The Architects' College will also join in the 150th
birthday celebration by offering an exposition which will attempt to
bridge the gap between Gaudí and modern architecture, which - although
almost a century has passed in between - has held onto many points of
contact with that of Gaudí. For a change, the College of Master Builders
has decided to pay more attention to Gaudí's work with ceramic, one
of his most expressive mediums.
Meanwhile, National Museum of Catalonian Art will center
it's energy on one of Gaudí's closest collaborators, Josep Maria Jujol,
responsible for some contributions to the design of a few Gaudí buildings,
for example, Casa Batlló and Casa Milá.
Lasly, Casa Batlló will bring together a collection
of photographs of Gaudí's works which were taken by sister and brother,
Mariá and Emili Canosa. It is an extensive series of photographs owned
by the Polytechnic Foundation of Catalonia's School of Photography.
Jueves, 22 de febrero de 2001