Hector Guimard


Hector Guimard

Hector Guimard (Lyon, March 10 1867 - New York, May 20 1942) was an architect, who is widely considered today to be the most prominent representative of the French Art Nouveau movement of the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.

Guimard did not originally have such a high reputation, because he did not have any followers; however, recently, people have come to realize the extraordinary formal and typological profusion of his architectural and decorative work, the best of it done in a relatively short fifteen years of prolific creative activity.

Years of study

Like many other French nineteenth-century architects, Guimard attended the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he became acquainted with the theories of Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc. These rationalist ideas provided the foundations of the future structural principles of Art Nouveau. Some say that Guimard became devoted to this style when he visited the Hôtel Tassel in Brussels, designed by Victor Horta, however of a very different style.

In 1898, he designed the Castel Béranger, [ [http://rubens.anu.edu.au/raid3/new/france/paris/cityscape/rue_la_fontaine/14_castel_beranger_guimard/ 14_castel_beranger_guimard ] at rubens.anu.edu.au] which displays a tension between a medieval sense of geometrical volume, and the organic "whiplash" lines [http://www.arch.mcgill.ca/prof/schoenauer/arch528/lect10/b12.jpg] Guimard saw in Brussels.

A flashing glory

The Castel Béranger made Guimard famous and he soon had many commissions. He continued working in the Art Nouveau style, especially devoted to its ideal of harmony and continuity, which led him to take over the interior decoration of his buildings as well. This culminated in 1909 with the Hotel Guimard [ [http://lartnouveau.com/artistes/guimard/122_av_mozart_hotel_guimard1.htm Hôtel Guimard d'Hector Guimard ] at lartnouveau.com] (his wedding present to his rich American wife) where ovoid rooms [ [http://lartnouveau.com/artistes/guimard/mozart_122/interieur/salle_mang_122.htm Salle à manger ] at lartnouveau.com] contain unique pieces of furniture, which are considered integral parts of the building.

If the skylights favored by .

Guimard also employed some structural innovations, as in the extraordinary concert hall Humbert-de-Romans [ [http://www.lecercleguimard.com/maj/projetexpo.htm Projets du Cercle Guimard ] at www.lecercleguimard.com] (1901), where a complex frame splits the sound waves to lead to perfect acoustics, or as in the Hôtel Guimard (1909), where the ground was too narrow to have the exterior walls bear any weight, and thus the arrangement of interior spaces differ from one floor to another. [http://lartnouveau.com/documents/wiki/guimard/hotel_guimard_1er_et.jpg]

The curious, inventive Guimard was also a precursor of industrial standardization, insofar as he wished to diffuse the new art on a large scale. His greatest success here – in spite of some scandals – was his famous entrances to the Paris Metro, [http://www.parisinconnu.com/guimard/l2p1.htm] based on the ornamented structures of Viollet-le-Duc. The idea is taken up – but with less success – in 1907 with a catalogue of cast iron elements applicable to buildings : "Artistic Cast Iron, Guimard Style". [ [http://www.insecula.com/oeuvre/photo_ME0000053981.html Panneau central de grand balcon ] at www.insecula.com]

Guimard's art objects have the same formal continuity as his buildings, harmoniously uniting practical function with linear design, as in the "Vase des Binelles", [ [http://www.musee-adriendubouche.fr/pages/page_id18416_u1l2.htm Vase des Binelles en grès - (Musée national Adrien Dubouché) ] at www.musee-adriendubouche.fr] of 1903) or this sketch of his furniture.

His inimitable stylistic vocabulary suggests plants and organic matter, while remaining resolutely on the side of abstraction. Flexible mouldings and a sense of movement are found in stone as well as wood carvings. Guimard created abstract two-dimensional patterns that were turned into stained glass [http://nakano.main.jp/misc/guimard/mezzara/153357.jpg] (Mezzara hotel, 1910), ceramic panels [ [http://lartnouveau.com/artistes/guimard/lille/coilliot/hall/coil4.htm . ] at lartnouveau.com] (Coilliot house, 1898), wrought iron [http://www.stanries.com/cgi-bin/display.cgi?type=v&file=../images/g-gp-chstairs01.jpg] (Castel Henriette, 1899), wallpaper [ [http://aplressources.free.fr/GUIMARDOC/5mi.html GUIMARD (5mi.jpg) ] at aplressources.free.fr] (Castel Béranger, 1898) or fabric [ [http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/11/euwf/hob_49.85.11.htm Hector Guimard: Panel | Work of Art | Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art ] at www.metmuseum.org] (Guimard hotel, 1909).

Oblivion

In spite of Guimard's innovations and talent, the press and the public quickly grew tired of him--not so much with his work, but his personality. His relationship with the clergyman who commissioned him to build the Humbert de Romans Concert Hall (arguably the most complete expression of his Art Nouveau style) soured by the time of its completion in 1901, and the clergyman left France. Within five years the magnificent concert venue was demolished; it is now only known through photographs and articles from art journals.

Guimard's work is itself victim of inherent contradictions of the ideals of the Art Nouveau movement: his best creations remained financially inaccessible to the general public, and his attempts at standardization of materials, parts, and measures never could keep pace with his very personal architectural vocabulary. Guimard was completely forgotten when he died in New York in 1942, where the fear of war and anti-Semitism (his wife was Jewish) had forced him into exile.

The rediscovery

Many of Guimard's buildings were destroyed after his death, but he started to be rediscovered in the 1960s. Now, scholars have reconstructed his career and he has been the subject of much research. Still, one hundred years after what Le Corbusier called the "magnificent gesture" of Art Nouveau, most of Guimard's buildings remain inaccessible to the public, and he has no museum devoted to him. However, original architectural drawings by Guimard are held in the Dept. of Drawings & Archives at Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University in New York City.

Timeline

* 1882 Guimard enters the École des Arts Décoratifs at Paris with Charles Genuys as his teacher.
* 1885 Guimard begins studying at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris.
* 1888 Café "Au grand Neptune" (quai d'Auteuil, 16th arrondissement de Paris).
* 1889 Guimard designs the Pavilion of Electricity at the 1889 World's Fair in Paris.
* 1891 Guimard becomes professor at the École des Arts Décoratifs. He remains there until 1900.
* 1891 Designs the Hôtel Roszé (rue Boileau, 16th arrondissement of Paris)
* 1894 Designs the Hôtel Jassedé (rue Chardon-Lagache), Hôtel Delfau (rue Molitor), and the funerary chapel of Devos-Logie and Mirand-Devos in the cimetière des Gonards at Versailles. Guimard first meets Belgian Art Nouveau architect Paul Hankar.
* 1895 Builds the Atelier Carpeaux (boulevard Exelmans, Paris), and the École du Sacré Cœur. First meets Belgian Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta. Beginning of construction on the Castel Béranger (rue La-Fontaine, Paris).
* 1896 La Hublotière au Vésinet. [ [http://www.hublotiere.fr.st La hublotière - Hector Guimard - Redirect by ulimit.com ] at www.hublotiere.fr.st]
* 1897 Guimard moves into an apartment building.
* 1898 Completion of the Castel Béranger which is called "deranged" by comtemporaries.
* 1899 Villa Bluette (Hermanville, Calvados.

* 1900 Maison Coilliot (14, rue Fleurus, Lille); construction of the entrances and buildings of the stations of the Métropolitain in Paris.
* 1901 Salle Humbert-de-Romans (Paris); Castel Henriette (rue des Binelles, Sèvres, Hauts-de-Seine).
* 1903 Castel Val (4, rue des Meulières, Auvers-sur-Oise); Villa La Sapinière (Hermanville).
* 1904 Castel Orgeval at Villemoisson-sur-Orge; Hôtel Léon Nozal (16th arrondissement of Paris); Chalet Blanc (2, rue du Lycée, Sceaux); Castel Orgeval (2 avenue de la Mare-Tambour, Villemoisson-sur-Orge).
* 1905 Hôtel Deron Levet, Chalet Blanc (Sceaux).
* 1909 Immeuble Trémois, rue Agar; Guimard marries Adeline Oppenheim and they move into the Hôtel Guimard on a triangular lot on the Rue Mozart, Paris.
* 1910 Hôtel Mezzara (60, rue La Fontaine, 16th arrondissement de Paris)
* 1913 Synagogue de la rue Pavée à Paris (10, rue Pavée, in the 4th arrondissement de Paris); Villa Hemsy (3, rue Crillon, Saint-Cloud).
* 1924 Villa Flore (avenue Mozart, 16th arrondissement de Paris).
* 1926 Apartment building (rue Henri Heine, Paris).
* 1928 Apartment building (rue Greuze, Paris)--this is widely believed to be Guimard's last work as an architect.
* 1938 Guimard and his wife move to New York.

Notes

External links

* [http://lartnouveau.com/artistes/guimard.htm lartnouveau.com] - The work of Hector Guimard in Paris and in France
* [http://lartnouveau.com/artistes/guimard/biographie_hector_guimard.htm l'Art Nouveau] - Biography
* [http://www.lecercleguimard.com/ Le Cercle Guimard] - The association for the protection and the promotion of the works of Hector Guimard
* [http://clio.cul.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBRecID=3460610&v2=1 Columbia University Avery Library ] Collection of Drawings


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  • Guimard —   [gi maːr], Hector, französischer Architekt, Innenarchitekt und Designer, * Lyon 10. 3. 1867, ✝ New York 20. 5. 1942; wichtiger Vertreter der Art nouveau, ausgebildet an der École des arts décoratifs und der École des beaux arts in Paris; v. a.… …   Universal-Lexikon