Saturday, 27 September 2008

an unfinished passion

The main entrance to La Sagrada Familia, on the Passion facade, to the west.

There are three 'grand' facades, the other two being the Nativity to the east and the Glory - still to be completed - to the south.

I found the sculpture on the Passion facade particularly striking, being geometrically brutal, uncompromising and yet still very beautiful and intensely moving. Possibly because of the stripped back philosophy behind it's design.

Looking at it now, i'm reminded of the contrast between the sparse, angular portraiture (particularly on this, the west side) compared to the softer, flowing, organic - and at times, or maybe at first - confusingly overpopulated other facades of the cathedral.

Thinking on it now, i wonder; does size 'matter' in art? I don't think so. But it can remind you of things that do matter. Of the import of the subject matter...

Think of the countless classic works of art you've known of your whole life; works always described and touted as 'colossal' or 'huge', yet when you meet them, many of them are small, quiet, but still intensely beautiful and revolutionary creations.

I'm rambling. forgive me...

Of course, works on the cathedral are still ongoing. Many workmen, artists, architects and visionaries pass through, spending their careers here. One such man was Josep Maria Subirachs, who is/was responsible for the Passion facade.

There has been much debate (suitably passionate) about his contribution to the cathedral, not least because he made no comprises to allow his style sit more comfortably with Gaudi's design of the rest of the building.

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