Neopurist Manifesto – Interview with Gianfranco Spada

The art blog neopurismo

Published in: The Art Blog
By Luisa Arienti
– Source: http://the-art-blog.info/3161/neopurist-manifesto-interview-with-gianfranco-spada/
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Interview to neopurism founder and leading light Gianfranco Spada.

How did the Neopurist manifesto come about?
About ten years ago I began to work on a series of paintings with the idea of broadening the visual art side of my work as an architect and develop principles that would be useful in my architectural projects.

Recently an art critic defined my art work as Neopurist, alluding to the Purist theories of Ozenfant and Le Corbusier. I have been familiar with the work of these two artists and the Purist movement for a long time, and I had read about the movement, but I had never connected it to what I was doing. Rereading “Après le cubisme”, written in 1918 as the foundation text of the Purist movement, I realised how much common ground exists between that movement and what I am trying to do a hundred years later, but also the extent to which my work goes a step further. That is why I understand that I should be termed a “Neopurist”. While pondering the core principles of Neopurism, I thought of drawing up a manifesto.

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Abstract transmutation

Gianfranco Spada 001

Contemporary architecture has often derived inspiration from the different forms and expressions of modern art, generally from abstract art. Many of the iconic buildings of modern architecture, which every architect holds in their mind’s eye, can be directly associated with works of art or artistic movements. These architectural works, having undergone a process of purification and transposition, are like artistic ideas that have been beamed into the real world, at last sharing the same physical dimension as human life, something which only architecture among the arts can achieve. With these buildings, abstract art, a way of interpreting and synthesizing the world, also materializes in that same reality, as if an idea, having passed through a process of transmutation, was returning to its original state. Spada’s work constitutes a latter stage of this altered state, a new transmutation that repositions these buildings within the abstract world of two-dimensional painting on canvas. This passing from one state to another serves to purify form, eliminating all that is superfluous and enhancing the essential – through the suppression of shadow and extraneous elements, for example – and provides the real strength of these paintings.

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Gianfranco Spada – architect

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Published in: Accademia Apulia
By Angelo Iudice
– Source: www.accademiapulia.org/en/members/gianfranco-spada—architect-211.html
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With harmony being an important dimension for architect Gianfranco Spada, his work questions the relation between space, objects and persons. At a time when architecture is looking for sustainable solutions to intrusive building expansion, architects are challenged by pressing ethical issues. This has always been a strong prerogative for Gianfranco Spada. Respect for the environment and intelligent use of sustainable materials can be seen in all his projects. Straight lines and luminous spaces explore the boundaries between architecture and art, a search for simplicity, a visual and spiritual feast. Gianfranco, who trained in Venice, has left his mark in many European cities, most notably in Barcelona where in 2000 he set up a professional association called “Arquites”, followed by Atelier27, an architectural company he co-founded in 2002. Gianfranco is now at work in London where he is a consultant Architect for a British firm involved in large international projects.

Accademia Apulia has asked Gianfranco Spada the following questions:

What inspired you to study / practice architecture?

I was motivated to study architecture by several factors, but I’d say that my family’s sartorial background may have had something to do with it: building a house is pretty much like designing a good outfit, albeit on a different scale.

What are the makings of a ‘good’ architect?

One can be a good architect in many different ways. What’s important is that people are able to distinguish between a ‘famous’ architect and a good architect, because fame and quality don’t always go together. There is a tendency to produce architectural specimen that are a reflection of their creators’ ego. I believe that a good architect does not let their ego influence their work.

What are the makings of a ‘good’ project?

A good project is dependent on a good customer. Generally, an architect materializes the aspirations of his customers.

Name three buildings / projects that you particularly like?

The Pantheon in Rome – probably the most remarkable building in history; the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies Van der Rohe, and the Museum of Danteum in Terragni, unfortunately never built.

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