Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reading Comprehension 6

1. Art Nouveau was a conscious attempt to reject historic styles. However, it was greatly influenced by fine art, non-western cultures, and not to mention past styles. The building and interiors became works of art, sculptures that captured the essence of movement in design. They strive for unity in design to create complete expressions, or what they call total works of art, (Harwood pg. 485). They created more than just a visual connection but also the emotional connection with the beholder just like the artists in that time period.

Antonio Gaudi’s Casa Batllo is an example of Art Nouveau’s organic sculptural piece. Gaudi was influenced by Moorish ceramic tiles and this shows in the fa├žade of the building its glass pieces embedded in the concrete. Its surrealistic form resembles something that Salvador Dali would have painted. I guess Spain is responsible for giving the world surrealists. Another possible influence is the baroque style, because of its dynamic mass.
Victor Horta’s Stair Hall at Hotel Tassel gives a different artistic view of what was done. The whiplash lines that become the decoration moves your eyes in the direction in which you should try to navigate the space. This interior seems like it has traces back to the rococo style, its tendrils overtaken over the interior.
Both also have the influence and inspiration of nature embraced in the interior as well as the exterior.
"I disgard the flower and the leaf but I keep the stalk."-Victor Horta




Casa Batllo, Antonio Gaudi (Harwood pg.497)

Hotel Tassel, Victor Horta (Harwood pg.500)

2. Simplistic does not come easily, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeannert ‘s Hall in the Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau choose function over aesthetics. This example of the modern movement demonstrates how the home should be like a machine; having a specific function, in this case a place where people live. Space became important; therefore anything that was unnecessary was removed. Volume also became of importance by having high ceilings and different ceiling level changes. Decoration became minimal, there were no ornamentations on the walls only white walls with maybe an adjacent color of either warm or cool hue, therefore letting the light illuminate the interior. In this case the walls are white and the painting hung became this simple decoration on the walls. They clearly designed on the concept of less is more, but is that true for this time period? With the media advertising different nick-knacks and novelties we tend to revert back to the Victorian age where our interiors are filled with useless clutter. We become hoarders that seek, more like desire, more space. It is clear that even with the this example of a modern interior, it is hard to relate to it because it seems to be cold and “too clean” for use to picture this to be inhabitable.
Hall, Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau, Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels (Harwood pg.629)



3.
lecture hall, Viipuri Library, Alvar Aalto (Massey pg.86)

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