Between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, nature was the great muse and source of inspiration for architects and artists. With this exhibition we want to show how the flora, in particular, became one of the repertoires par excellence of modernist architecture, which came to establish a true dialogue with the world of plants through the decorative arts.
Nature, the source of inspiration, is the first of the four areas in which the exhibition is structured. Here we analyzed the creative process of artists to “capture” the image of plants and flowers, detailing how they did a study direct of the vegetal world as an exercise of observation in order to represent and immortalize in the decorative art the ephemeral natural model. As work tools they used the drawing and the painting, but also modern inventions at the time like the photography, and the repertoires that were published like visual guides.
The second area, L’obrador, the creation of the construction arts, takes a tour of eight arts applied to architecture – ceramics, mosaics, iron, stone, stucco, hydraulic mosaic, stained glass and plaster – and collects the different creation processes that show basic and simple materials – cement, mud, stone or glass – became art, recreating or transforming the plant world into the architectural scene. By means of examples, the visitor will understand why applied arts, considered minor, became major arts in that period.
In the third area, The architecture, the urban garden, offers an exhibition of flowers and plants that recreate a giant and immutable garden through the arts applied to buildings, with representative examples such as the acanthus leaf, the Wooden card, pine, daisy or chestnut from India. We see this flora represented in different architectural techniques and elements because nature was the visual language close to the whole society that unfolded the idea of total art of Modernsime. Among all the plants, the rose predominates, considered the queen of the flowers, which is why she dedicates a special space related to her symbolism.
The last area, The city, the lost nature, exposes the difficulty in the conservation of the arts applied to the construction. When it disappears from its original space, which is architecture, applied art becomes a material at risk and usually disappears. The exhibition also wants to claim local Modernism and the preservation in situ of the representative heritage of the cities in which he had more followers.
Likewise, this exhibition wants to invite the visitor to savor the perfume of certain flowers, to listen and to visualize the production processes or to feel the forms of certain reproductions. The goal is to turn the visit into a new way of knowing and remembering Modernism and its flowers, accessible to all and through all the senses.
The exhibition is organized by the Office of Cultural Heritage of the Department of Culture, Education and Sports of the Diputació de Barcelona, the Museum of Art of Cerdanyola and the Museums of Esplugues de Llobregat.