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The following dissertation seeks to look at the artistic, political and ideological legacy of Antoni Gaudi – one of the most innovative architects of the modern era. We propose in particular to look at both his creative output and his ideological convictions, charting the construction of some of Spain’s most famous cultural landmarks in tandem with an analysis of the historical context in which these landmarks were created. This, we believe, represents the best means of studying Gaudi. By attempting to create a synthesis between the Modernist Movement and the Art nouveau style for which he was famous and the politically volatile period in which he lived we can better understand how Gaudi was – in essence – a product of his time, country and distinctive political culture. We can understand, as a consequence, the interplay of architecture, ideology and politics that conspired to make his work among the most challenging and unique in modern European art history (Lahuerta, 2003:2-10). Moreover, in attempting this synthesis we can also understand the extent to which Gaudi’s work remains outside of these fixed ideological parameters and how in many ways his legacy can be understood in terms of wholly “independent experiments” (Bergdoll, 2000:189) that have no equal anywhere else in the world. Ultimately of course, we have to note the essential differences between architecture and politics, which involves accepting that art is by definition an entirely subjective phenomenon whose aesthetic beauty lives longer in the memory than any one man or any political ideology.



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