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18 September 2019Anton Gaudi:Catalonia Modernisme
16 October 2019Picasso and his Women
20 November 2019The Magic of Cristobal Balenciaga, Master of San Sebastian
04 December 2019Giles: His life, Times and cartoons

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Anton Gaudi:Catalonia Modernisme Anne Anderson Wednesday 18 September 2019

The modern skyline of Barcelona is dominated by Antonio Gaudi’s masterpiece the Sagrada Familia. As Catalonia grew in wealth and power, from the mid-19th century, the region strove to re-establish its national identity, separate to Castilian Spain, firstly by restoring its language (after 150 years of oppression), but equally by a conscious injection of modern ideas designed to invigorate and lift Catalan society and culture as it approached the 20th Century. Barcelona’s most famous architect took the tenets of Modernisme to daring extremes and developed a style unmistakably his own. From the sinuous facades of La Pedrera, an apartment block,  to the impossibly grandiose La Sagrada Familia, dedicated to the Holy Family, Gaudi stamped his individuality on every aspect of his buildings. He combined industrial materials, metal, glass and tile with fabulous ornamentation inspired by Hispano-Arabic architecture and co-opted the progressive concepts of Art Nouveau, evolving a style that expressed both modernity and Catalonia nationalism. Gaudi was fortunate; supported by his patron Eusebi Güell he was commissioned to build the Güell Palace, Colònia Güell  and the Parc Güell, a experimental garden suburb. But Gaudi outlived his era, his last years committed to completing the Sagrada Familia, a testament to the transforming power of Art.

Anne Anderson has a degree in archaeology and a PhD in English and was a senior lecturer in Art and Design History at Southampton Solent University for 14 years.  She has held several prestigious fellowships including Fellow of the Huntington Library, CA (2008 and 2018) and Fellow of the Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Library and Museum (2009/10). Currently she is a tutor for the V&A Learning Academy and specialises in Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement. Her career as an international speaker has taken her all over the world, including Jersey, Spain, Germany, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

Anton Gaudi - Casa Batilo