Architecture and Criticism
Ignasi de Solà-Morales
20.02.2019 – 12.05.2019
Curators: Carmen Rodríguez and Pau de Solà-Morales
Opening: Tuesday 19th February 7pm
Free guided tours: Tuesday at 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am
The career of Ignasi de Solà-Morales (Barcelona, 1942 – Amsterdam, 2001) exemplifies some of the most significant attributes of a certain architectural tradition closely connected with Barcelona and notable for encompassing thinking about culture, heritage and the city within a single body of theory.
In the academic sphere, through the history and theory of architecture, or as a catalyst of diverse generations and practices, Solà-Morales was for almost 30 years a model of the difficult balance between professional exercise, critical production and influence in the public sphere.
This exhibition presents – for the first time in a museum context – an extensive selection of material from the architect’s personal archive, consisting of working documents, notes and lectures, dialogues and projects, most of them never seen by the public before. This material not only tells us of Solà-Morales’s own intellectual life but also gives an account of the development of architecture in Catalonia during the closing 30 years of the 20th century, of the fabric of cultural institutions constructed at that time, and of the links with international movements.
Solà-Morales lived at a time when people were looking to overcome ideological exhaustion and the more simplistic or black-and-white speculations. Today, we can see in his career a use – not without friction – of the transversality between disciplines such as philosophy and artistic languages, semiotics and architecture, as well as a consideration of the urban experience that invites us to draw parallels with the present.
Thus, the displacement of the strictly architectural discourse to the shifting realm of contemporary cultural grammar constitutes perhaps one of the most characteristic traits of Solà-Morales’s work, the place where we recognise the validity of his ideas and through which we can trace the continuities and antagonisms posited by this exhibition.