Gaudí, the artist who revolutionised architecture

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Gaudí, the artist who revolutionised architecture

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Why does Gaudí’s work never cease to fascinate us? How did he create his projects? His buildings are famous the world over, but his work as an artist is practically unknown. ARTIKA has created a unique publication that brings together the drawings of the master of modernism: a priceless legacy that was on the verge of being lost forever.

 

Structure and beauty

A building like the Sagrada Família instantly captures the attention with the strength of its shapes and the expressiveness of its materials. This synthesis of geometry and experimentation, of imagination and technique, is the result of a unique vision.

Antoni Gaudí had the mind of a scientist and the spirit of an artist, a combination that was already evident in the earliest steps of his creative process. That is what makes his drawings and sketches works of art in their own right.

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Drawing of the project for the Sagrada Familia made by Antoni Gaudí.

Elevation of the San José chapel, of the Sagrada Familia, by Antoni Gaudí, 1884.

Elevation of the plan of the Sagrada Familia, by Antonio Gaudí, 1916.

Sagrada Familia by Antonio Gaudí.

 

Graphite on paper

The pencil was Gaudí’s first tool. He used it to take notes, to make copies of nature, to design buildings. The plans were then drawn in ink and could be coloured in using watercolours, while the lettering was done freehand. Gaudí’s plans are notable for their careful calligraphy.

In addition to his major architectural projects, he also made sketches for ornamental pieces, urban studies and furniture designs. One exquisite piece belongs to this category: the sketch of a display case for the Paris International Exhibition in 1878, drawn on the back of a business card.

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Vitrina de la Guantería Comella de Barcelona. Croquis, 1878.

Project for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1878, Municipal Museum, Reus.

 

New languages and ingenious solutions

As a student, he already stood out with his project for a university auditorium. The sketches and watercolours of this proposal reveal a project radically different from other typical designs of the time. One of his first professional commissions includes the outstanding drawing of the façade of the Casa Vicens; drawn in India ink, this is a design full of detail and harmony.

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Facade of Casa Vicens, signed by Gaudí, January 15, 1883

 

Other interesting pieces are related to the Sagrada Família. These include the sketch for the sacristy lantern and the study for the iron grilles of the Nativity façade, an excellent example of ornamental art.

Gaudí’s sketches of wildflowers and plants demonstrate the artist’s capacity for observation and his keen sensitivity. There is also a series of drawings showing an allegorical cavalcade in detail. His skill in the execution of animals and human figures is on full display in these pieces.

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Close-up details of Gaudí's drawings.

 

A legacy that changes our perspective on Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí had been working on the Sagrada Família for almost 12 years when he died in 1926. He had even spent the final months of his life living in the workshop he had set up in the church.

The photographs that have been preserved from that time show his office packed with drawings and plans. Unfortunately, much of this legacy was lost during a fire in 1936.

Looking at a pencil sketch made more than 100 years ago on the back of a card will strike anyone by the freshness, originality and precision that a Gaudí drawing can convey. Particularly when we know that very few of these works have survived. Now we can admire them in an exceptional publication: Gaudí Up Close.

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Art from the first line
 

  • Gaudí Up Close is an artists’ book that recovers the unpublished legacy of the genius, scattered throughout different archives until now.

 

  • It includes the Art Book, with 48 drawings by Gaudí in their original size; the Study Book, with exclusive articles; the architect’s folder, with reproductions of three plans; and the sculpture-case, with a design that reproduces one of the iconic chimneys of La Pedrera.

 

  • After more than ten years of research, this exclusive edition, limited to 4,998 copies, reveals Gaudí as he has never been seen before.

 

 

 

Gaudí, the artist who revolutionised architecture

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