ARC 331: Art Nouveau

week of

March 15-21

introduction

Big question

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learning objectives

At the conclusion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Identify main modern monuments in the period by name, date, designer/client and location (KNOWLEDGE)
  • Define terminology specific to technique, style and structure (KNOWLEDGE)
  • Describe integration of technology (material and non-material) in individual monuments (KNOWLEDGE)
  • Explain stylistic/technical changes in design as they relate to cultural context (COMPREHENSION)
  • Summarize the main concepts in important works of theory by key writers (COMPREHENSION)
  • Explain the development of the vocation/profession of building designers from (comprehension)
  • Visually analyze buildings from this period to suggest date, place, and designer (ANALYSIS)
  • Recognize change in architectural styles by comparing their formal and technical characteristic (ANALYSIS)
  • Critique the agency of people and technology w/in the process of design (EVALUATE)
  • Evaluate different theoretical and design approaches and defend personal preference for one or more (EVALUATE)

part 1

Modern Desires

Industrialized to a greater or lesser extent, each European nation looked to the turn of the century while enjoying the Belle Époque, the optimistic, affluent decades following the end of wars between France and Germany and before the outbreak of World War 1. Cultural and technological developments signified an age of progress and enthusiasm for modernity.

  • Read: Colquhoun, chap. 1 (& skim chap. 4)
  • Otto Wagner, from Modern Architektur (1896) [excerpt]

For a view of unbridled modernity, look no farther than the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris:

part 2

Regional Variations

While sharing a general sense of optimism and interest in modernity, the states of Europe also sought vernacular expressions of regional character, motivated in part by a sense of nationalism and also in part by lingering effects of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Individual styles were fostered among practitioners in cities who sometimes had institutional connections (as in the Vienna Secession), simply shared a common aesthetic (as we see in Brussels and Paris), or could also generate from a single fertile mind (Ödön Lechner, Antoni Gaudí). Overall, however, we can define the different arts nouveaux by distinct style designations created in local languages.

Coup de Fouet

Here is a quick romp through Horta in Brussels


And a quick study just of Horta's own house

In Paris, Castel Béranger

Modernisme

Barcelona was (and remains) the center of the Catalan independence movement. Although another architect from Barcelona is more famous (and we'll get to him momentarily), another built the true monument of Catalan Modernisme.



The Discord

 

Szecesszió

In Budapest, the art nouveau coincided with the 1896 celebration of 1,000 years since the Magyars arrived in the Carpathian Basin.

His decorative arts museum:

Lechner's work features locally-produced, and widely-sought, Zsolnay tiles.

Wiener Sezession

Jugendstil

Seeds of its demise sewn already in 1908 when the Czech/Austrian Adolf Loos wrote an essay that built upon at least a decades' worth of disgust with the Secession in his adopted hometown of Vienna.

  • Adolf Loos, from “Ornament and Crime” (1908) [excerpt]

part 3

Gaudí

Mila

 
Sagrada

Trencandís

and trencandís at Sagrada

additional resources

Additional Resources

A nice long look at a townhouse by Belgian architect Paul Hankar

Van Eetveld

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