Antonio Gaudi (Barcelona 1852-1926)
“Originality consists in returning to the origin.” Gaudí, a Spanish Catalan was an architect and figurehead of Catalan Modernismwhich was reaching its peak in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Gaudi’s work eclipsed mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by nature. Gaudí's body of work reflects his highly distinctive and distinguishable style. Gaudíhad a handin every detail of his architectural creations.He would integrate wrought ironwork, carpentry, ceramics and stained glass into the structures he created giving them a look that is so easily recognizable as his creation. Gaudi studied the art and architecture of as many cultures as he could and they each influences his art in their own distinctive way. Gaudi, during his education, studied Egyptian, Japanese, Indian, Mayan, Chinese and Persian art. He researched neo-Gothic art, Oriental techniques, and Moorish monuments in Spain. Gaudi even studied Islamic art and its spatial ambiguity. He was attracted to its idea of structures with unlimited space, its repetitive sequences broken up with gaps and partitions creating spaces without disrupting the flow and open space quality. Gaudí’s work is typically identified as modernista, and it fits with this movement because of its quest to reform without breaking with tradition, its search for modernity, the role and value of ornament with regard to works, and the multidisciplinary nature of theircreations, where craftsmanship played an important role. Gaudi added to this foundation a touch of baroque, technical innovation and naturalism making his work distinctively his own.