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Santiago Calatrava: The Quest for Movement


July 7, 2012
by Canadian Architect

On June 27, 2012, artistic icon Santiago Calatrava became the first contemporary architect to have a retrospective exhibition at the world-renowned State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“In St. Petersburg, the city of bridges, we cannot imagine a finer start to the architectural exhibitions cycle within the Hermitage 20/21 project,” said Dr. Piotrovsky, director of the State Hermitage Museum. The goal of the 20/21 project is to collect, study and exhibit art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Entitled Santiago Calatrava: The Quest for Movement, this unprecedented exhibition, curated by Cristina Carillo de Albornoz and Ksenia Malich, will examine Calatrava’s innovative style through his various artistic realms. From never-before-seen paintings and sculptures to celebrated architectural models and sketches spanning Calatrava’s 30-plus-year career, the exhibition will give individuals a unique opportunity to explore the inner workings and creative process of this celebrated artist.

Not only will The Quest for Movement be one of Calatrava’s largest exhibitions, but it will also be among his most extensive. The museum will dedicate its prestigious Nikolaevsky Halls – the most magnificent rooms within the Winter Palace – in order to show Calatrava’s extraordinary versatility as an architect, engineer, sculptor and painter; as well as to demonstrate how these different facets of his work intertwine.

“The Hermitage is one of the world’s most important museums, so it is an enormous honour that they have chosen my work as the subject for their first exhibition on contemporary architecture,” said Santiago Calatrava. “I have a true admiration for not only the collections in the Hermitage, but for the country of Russia itself. Throughout history, Russia has made an enormous contribution to the arts and it is a privilege to be able to exhibit the different aspects of my work and the interrelations between them in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg.”

Calatrava’s fascination with the study of movement goes back to his beginnings and, as indicated by the exhibition’s title, will play a vital role in this monumental installation. For Calatrava, architecture has the potential to display movement and can be integrated in order to deliver astonishing results. Calatrava has tested this theory on several of his projects including the internationally acclaimed Milwaukee Art Museum, whose breathtaking Brise Soleil was declared the “Best Design of 2001” by Time Magazine. During the exhibition, the architect’s passion for movement will be reflected through a selection of his kinetic sculptures, architectural models, drawings and a vast installation with four giant projections.

Santiago Calatrava: The Quest for Movement will be on view at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg until Sunday, September 30, 2012.

The exhibition is presented with the support of the ministry of culture of the Russian Federation.The Hermitage is grateful for the sponsoring support of JT International and BP.

For more information, please visit www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/04/2012/hm4_1_305.html.


world trade center transportation hub model. photo courtesty of santiago calatrava LLC.
world trade center transportation hub model. photo courtesty of santiago calatrava LLC.


Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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