Hector Guimard

Felipe Ferre, Author ABRAMS $65 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8109-0973-1
The reputation of architect Hector Guimard (1867-1942), who was celebrated for his innovative, elegant buildings, declined as Art Nouveau gave way to Art Deco. Taking nature as his model, Guimard, like Antonio Gaudi in Spain, challenged accepted architectural wisdom. He replaced straight lines with curves, classical balance with graceful asymmetry. He twisted cast iron into organic shapes, giving new emphasis to such details as doorways, grilles and railings. Guimard's buildings are the adult equivalent of the enchanted world of childhood fairy talesdelightful, whimsical, yet sophisticated. His major work is displayed here in 165 full-page photographs, from his first success, the Castel Beranger apartment complex, to the seaside villa of La Bluettea playful triumph of disharmony, to the mature, handsome Hotel Mezzaraand, of course, the famous Metro entrances in Paris. Also included are examples of his decorative arts. This book by Academie Francaise member Rheims is a worthy tribute to a long-neglected master. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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