VSW: Luis Barragán, 1

I used line, and diluted waterproof inks,
with watercolors on top for Casa Golardi, above.

I went to USC’s School of Architecture at a time when the school was run by the new dean, Quincy Jones.  The school was populated by what many of us referred to as “Corb Jocks”, that is most of the architects I was required to read and “love” were just one, Le Corbusier.  I had some respite from it in design classes with Ed Niles and Pierre Koenig, but the history classes all focused on the white whale.  (Not that I hate Corb, but I do have a love hate relationship with him due to the force feeding I endured.)

This is the only background you will receive, but it is important because I discovered Luis Barragán at Hennessee and Ingalls, the best bookstore in Los Angeles for all things related to the arts.  I chose to devote a watercolor book on him for two art groups, one which I lead, on FaceBook, purely for the pleasure of sketching all things Barragán, both projects and images contrasting him with the places and architecture that was happening all around him as he was creating these literally brilliant buildings.


Casa Golardi.


Casa Pedregal. Watercolor and ink.

Chapultepec Park, near where Luis Barragán lived. Part of his neighborhood.
I had to do it, because, PALMS!!!! Love love love palms, home home home…
I also love line work… I always want to keep the line work and not move into watercolor….


I was using pencils (that is what was sitting around) and it wasn’t until a bit later I realized I had chosen the watercolor pencils.  So above is Torres de Satelite, in pencils after they were wetted.  If you want process it is just below.

Torres de Satelite, a series of tall prisms built in 1958 on an island by Luis Barragán and Mathias Goeritz (Poland 1915 – 1990) plastic artist.  They are located on an Island in the middle of traffic in the Ciudad Satélite district of Naucalpan, State of Mexico, and can be seen for miles, which was why they were commissioned — they wanted an anchor for the district.  As one moves about in a car, the shapes change from pointed surfaces to flat surfaces, which makes them look at times like sculptures, and at times like buildings.

From an article in Domus online: “(the) appearance is sensory, Goeritz himself described them as painting, emotional architecture, as a plastic prayer; the local inhabitants have made them their own, they are its emblem and also pride, the passers by car understand them as a point of reference on a city scale and the visitors on foot who perceive their real scale pass them by touching their hands along their sides, they look up and feel that they are buildings, even people have been seen hugging them, and it is just where perhaps, the emotion that Goeritz refers to art and Barragan as architecture is present.”


On a second day I gave Torres de Satelite context, as it sits in a busy island with cars flying by, above… colored pencil and pen and ink.

A full length feature on Luis Barragán, below, from a good synopsis
page on him from the Barragán Foundation.

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in architecture, art journal, drawing, journal, memory, process, series, virtual sketching, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to VSW: Luis Barragán, 1

  1. Pingback: VSW: Luis Barragán, 2 | D.Katie Powell Art

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