Luis Gueilburt was born in Argentina in 1950 and
has lived in Barcelona since 1978. The sculptor completed his Fine
Arts studies - with a specialization in Sculpture - at the Municipal
School of Avellaneda. He has been the director of the Center of
Gaudinist Studies since 1994.
- When did Luis Gueilburt discover Gaudí?
It's impossible to come to Barcelona and not discover
Gaudí; Gaudí's work pretty much falls right on top of you; his work
has such potency that, although you may not be interested in the
architecture, you become impressed by the details of the work. Then,
I began to invesitgate, to look, to visit a few of the buildings
- first as a tourist - and I began to discover his work.
In little time, before 1980, I was giving classes
at a sculpting school, and there was a Brazilian architecture student
who was doing a doctorate class on Architecture in Barcelona and
was studying in the "Cátedra Gaudí." Then he introduced me to Professor
Bassegoda in a guided visit that he gave through the Barcelona cathedral.
Bassegoda showed himself to be interested in my work, and after
a few days had passed, I went and paid him a visit. After seeing
some of my work, he asked me if I would dare to restore the grill
of the dragon at Finca Güell. I was shocked, as I wasn't expecting
a proposal like that; I excitedly accepted the job and dedicated
myself to making a new toungue for the head of the dragon, fashioning
some new weldings, and restoring another part of the door. This
impressed me greatly.
- What motivated him to renovate the tavern
started by César Martinell with the Center of Gaudinist Studies?
Studying the work of Gaudí, I was entrusted to
do a few other restorations and, above all, reproductions for an
exposition that was put on by La Caixa de Pensiones and spread to
18 different countries in 7 or 8 years. One of the places the exposition
traveled to was Buenos Aires, and being the only Argentinian that
had worked on the exposition, the Generality invited me to give
a conference on the theme. This obligated me to study Gaudí's work
even more, because I felt like I had to, not being able to understand
much about architectural subjects that were not included in my specialty;
and with the years, I began to internalize more and more the theme
of Gaudí; I worked for nine years as a restorer at the museum in
Park Güell, which was the house where Gaudí lived.
Stemming from a few interventions and restorations
that I didn't see very clearly in distinct buildings in the works
of Gaudí, I did an exposition with pieces Gaudí's work which had
been removed in certain restorations which I had been collecting
and incorporating into my sculptoral work. During the time of this
exposition, which was held at the College for Master Builders and
Technical Architects of Barcelona, I called together a round-table
to give the opportunity to speak to the different architects who
had restored Gaudí's works in order to see what intervention line
they were following, to see if they were all following the same
line of thought, or if there were varying lines of thought. At the
end of the intervention, I spoke up about what I had feared would
be - that each was feeling quite inspired by Gaudí's work as they
restored, but that each was working in his own distinct way.