Art Nouveau's evocative appeal is in many ways as fresh today as when it dominated the European art scene at the turn of the 20th century. In this work, photographer and architecture critic Junichi Shimomura explores his premise that some of the most striking forms of Art Nouveau were realized in residential architecture. Antonio Gaudi's Casa Battlo in Barcelona, Victor Horta's Maison Horta in Brussels, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House in Helensburgh, Scotland, are the main subjects of his study. Shimomura exposes the essential design character of each house. His photographs of Gaudi's twisting organic forms are suffused with the Spanish architect's rich colours - golden bronzes, sea greens and steely blues. In a series of images shot from below eye level, Shimomura shows how the intricate iron grill work of Horta's house leads the eye up to an atrium-like stained glass skylight. The contrary nature of the Hill House is portrayed by contrasting its heavy dolmen-like front door, reminiscent of the prehistoric stone structures found throughout the area, with its large light-filled windows and interior rooms. Concentrating on these and other contemporaneous residential masterpieces, Shimomura sensitively reveals the full range and variety of Art Nouveau design. From exteriors and interiors to elements of lighting and furniture, he takes careful note of door fixtures, carpet patterns, wallpaper and even lamp shades.
Arts-Photography, Architecture, Buildings, Residential,