When: Sun., Dec. 20, 2 p.m. 2015
Spanish architect Antonio Gaudí was an unparalleled genius in his field. As something of an early magical realist, his work inspires the feeling of the fantastical sublime in its viewers like perhaps no other architect’s body of work. Born in 1852, his designs are closely associated, like his Spanish contemporary Joan Miró, with the modernist movement in art. Gaudí, however, was inspired as much by the sweeping drama of religion and the organic, imperfect perfections of nature, as he was by the clean and severe lines of modernism. In this 1984 film by Japanese avant-gardist Hiroshi Teshigahara, Gaudí’s work is showcased in full, including his still incomplete masterwork, the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, and the viewer is left to build their own philosophies around the genius that confronts them. Part of the McNay’s Miró-inspired This Is Not a Film Series, Antonio Gaudí is a visionary depiction of an artist who was content to let his fantasies guide his artistic choice rather than merely following the mode of the moment. Just as Miró’s abstraction beguiles critics still, Gaudí’s defiance of realistic and purely functional forms serves as a reminder of how the creative individual can reinvent the very space of life itself.