Monday, December 23

Nest by Tamara's Holiday Book Review Series: Part 5, KABBALAH IN ART AND ARCHITECTURE by Alexander Gorlin

Taking the spirtual path in Kabballah 
in Art and Architecture 
by Alexander Gorlin 

was a good read and a lesson in deepening my understanding of religion symbolism in art.  
I was entranced with the topic as I read each page.  Many thorough descriptions ensue as we are taken on a journey of sorts through world history as told through the art and architecture in this book.
the impressive Guggenheim Museum in Spain designed by architect Frank Gehry
it seems to shimmer with armor.

Alexander Gorlin is a notable architect, design critic and author who has a strong interest in deciphering the architectural references he reads in Biblical text.  In this book he focuses specifically on the Kabbalah, which is mystical Jewish teaching, and how that practice is illustrated in various mediums from buildings to sculpture.  The Kabbalistic teachings focus on the idea of creation through light, space and geometry.  Please pick up a copy published by Pointed Leaf Press on Amazon

Gorlin does a thorough job of investigation this religion and showing how it has left a lasting mark on our culture.  He interviews those who study Kabbalah, many noted architects and artists from around the world, while steering readers to visual correlations between the study and practice of Kaballah and many art and architectural important works.  He points to the Seven Palace of Heaven and how it relates to Versaille's Hall of Mirrors; and the glass Maison de Verre in Paris as possibly referencing Kabbala's "vessel of light"  Once you start to become enthralled in the book you most likely will not look at art and architecture in the same way again.  Just today while walking up Madison Avenue and passing  many historic buildings and museums, although frigid cold outside, I stopped to check the detailing for any remnants and references to Kabbalah.  Gorlin has given me a new perspective with which to view the world of art, and I like the view.  

Villa Malaparte is mystical as it appears to teeter on the Faraglioni rocks and the Mediterranean Sea here in the Italian island of Capri, -- a "stairway to heaven".  Built by architect Adalberto Libera for Italian poet Curzio Malaparte in 1930s, the structure focuses on the triangular staircase seemingly hovering between the sea and sky. 

The Bloch building, designed by architect Steven Holl in 2007 resides at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.  The building is a vessel of light shining upon the original stone museum of 1933

Happy Holidays
Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara