Gaudí and the 1900s Barcelona on view at MAM-Rio

(Rio de Janeiro, RJ)

Antoni Gaudí is, and was, a very peculiar character. Apparently contradictory, his ideas and ways of creating weren’t detached from tradition, but opened the door for architectural concepts that are considered modern to this day. In his life, he wasn’t given into social interactions, to the point where he became an architecture hermit, confined in his largest work, the Sagrada Família. Yet, he didn’t live to see it finished: in 1926, Gaudí died, leaving a great part of the Holy Family Basilica incomplete, as it remains until today.

The legendary architect leads “Gaudí: Barcelona, 1900”, which opens tomorrow, March 16th, at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM-Rio). Curated by Raimon Ramis and Pepe Serra, the exhibition was shown in a number of institutions (the last one was Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in São Paulo) and gathers 46 architectural models—four in a monumental scale—and 25 objects and furniture created by the architect, besides other 40 or so works by other artists and artisans from the 1900s Barcelona.

Together, protagonist and secondary characters help understand the Catalan modernism movement. Developed in Barcelona in the turn of the 19th into the 20th century, the style mixes an idealization of the medieval tradition with natural themes, and was deeply related to French Art Nouveau, to English Modern Style and to Vienna’s Sezessionstil.

But the biggest feat of Catalan modernism is, in truth, political, according to the exhibition curators. Being born concurrently to the creation of a national Catalan identity, the movement was the basis for modern Catalonia. It is, above all, that identity that the curators wish “Gaudí: Barcelona, 1900” to channel, born in a moment in which “industrial process, intimate side, moment, fate, and mechanization etc. gained space and artistic activities were open to new ideas”, as Ramis and Serra explained in an interview to Instituto Tomie Ohtake.

 “Gaudí: Barcelona, 1900”
Curated by Raimon Ramis and Pepe Serra
On view from March 16th to April 30th, 2017

Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM-Rio)
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