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Deconstructing Gaudí: Entangled relations between satire and architectural criticism

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Josep-Maria Garcia-Fuentes


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The reception of Antoni Gaudí’s architecture has generated a wide range of satirical criticism in visual and textual form since the late 19th century. Indeed, probably no other architecture has been more caricatured over the course of the 20th century than that of Gaudí. Through early cartoons, such as the 1912 depiction of Casa Milà in the satirical magazine L’Esquella de la Torratxa, to more recent collages published in newspapers, the architect and his works have been the subject of an intense satirical critique.Popular attention to Gaudí – his works and his character – has run parallel to more sophisticated interpretations by many well-known artists, architects and scholars from different disciplines – Salvador Dalí and Bruno Zevi to name two. This is an intense dialogue that has succeeded in reshaping Gaudí’s architectural imagery, from visions of bold national and religious postulates to those that support gentler technical and touristic understandings of architecture. Moreover this change in the representation of Gaudí’s work has also transformed the materiality of some of his buildings.This paper analyses the humorous reception of Gaudí’s architecture within popular media – comics, newspapers and cinema, as well as souvenirs – in parallel to the attention paid by scholars, architects and artists to his work during the 20th century. The goal is to explore the satirical imagery of Gaudí’s architecture in the realm of popular humour and its connections with scholarly criticism.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Garcia-Fuentes JM

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Association of Art Historians, AAH 2015

Year of Conference: 2015