The Beehive Metaphor: From Gaudí to Le Corbusier

Front Cover
Since time immemorial, bees have been associated with all manner of virtues. The beehive has served as the model for an ideal society, while honey and wax have provided the basis for countless positive metaphors of sweetness and productivity. The natural architecture created by bees in their hives can be said to approach perfection. In The Beehive Metaphor, Juan Antonio Ram rez shows how this lucid modular structure had a considerable influence on the architects and artists who founded the Modern movement. Models from both traditional and "modern" or "rational" apiculture were studied and reinterpreted by such key figures as Gaud , Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Beuys.

Inspired by his own father's obsession with bee-keeping - which wiped out the family's fortune - Ram rez examines the complex ideological, political and artistic repercussions of apian metaphors, thereby enhancing our understanding of the relationship between ecology, animal husbandry and architecture.
 

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Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
7
Working Beehive Mystical Beehive
36
Symbolist Beehive Artistic Beehive
69
Transparent Beehive Spiritual Beehive
92
Mechanical Beehive Social Beehive
116
References
161
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Juan Antonio Ramirez is Professor of History of Art at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the author of several books on art, architecture and film, including Duchamp: Love and Death, even (Reaktion, 1998).


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