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Louis Sullivan

Data de nascimento: 3. Setembro 1856
Data de falecimento: 14. Abril 1924

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Louis Sullivan foi um arquitecto norte-americano. Foi o primeiro arquitecto modernista que defendia a máxima de que "a forma segue a função". Colaborou com Frank Lloyd Wright numa concepção de arquitectura funcionalista orgânica e afirmava que "se a forma segue a função, então o trabalho deve ser orgânico". Os arranha-céus são monumentos e provas vivas da interveniência da arquitectura de Sullivan na época modernista. Foi um marco importante na história da arquitectura moderna e deixou os seus ideais proliferarem.

Sepultado no Graceland Cemetery, Chicago.

Citações Louis Sullivan

„Unceasingly the essence of things is taking shape in the matter of things, and this unspeakable process we call birth and growth.“

— Louis Sullivan
Context: All things in nature have a shape, that is to say, a form, an outward semblance, that tells us what they are, that distinguishes them from ourselves and from each other. Unfailingly in nature these shapes express the inner life, the native quality, of the animal, tree, bird, fish, that they present to us; they are so characteristic, so recognizable, that we say simply, it is "natural" it should be so. Yet the moment we peer beneath this surface of things, the moment we look through the tranquil reflection of ourselves and the clouds above us, down into the clear, fluent, unfathomable depth of nature, how startling is the silence of it, how amazing the flow of life, how absorbing the mystery! Unceasingly the essence of things is taking shape in the matter of things, and this unspeakable process we call birth and growth. Awhile the spirit and the matter fade away together, and it is this that we call decadence, death. These two happenings seem jointed and interdependent, blended into one like a bubble and its iridescence, and they seem borne along upon a slowly moving air. This air is wonderful past all understanding. Yet to the steadfast eye of one standing upon the shore of things, looking chiefly and most lovingly upon that side on which the sun shines and that we feel joyously to be life, the heart is ever gladdened by the beauty, the exquisite spontaneity, with which life seeks and takes on its forms in an accord perfectly responsive to its needs. It seems ever as though the life and the form were absolutely one and inseparable, so adequate is the sense of fulfillment.

„The greatest man of action is he who is the greatest, and a life-long, dreamer.“

— Louis Sullivan
Context: He who knows naught of dreaming can, likewise, never attain the heights of power and possibility in persuading the mind to act. He who dreams not creates not. For vapor must arise in the air before the rain can fall. The greatest man of action is he who is the greatest, and a life-long, dreamer. For in him the dreamer is fortified against destruction by a far-seeing eye, a virile mind, a strong will, a robust courage. And so has perished the kindly dreamer — on the cross or in the garret. A democracy should not let its dreamers perish. They are its life, its guaranty against decay. Thus would I expand the sympathies of youth. Thus would I liberate and discipline all the constructive faculties of the mind and encourage true insight, true expression, real individuality. Thus would I concentrate the powers of will. Thus would I shape character. Thus would I make good citizens. And thus would I lay the foundations for a generation of real architects — real, because true, men, and dreamers in action.

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„Verily, there needs a gardener, and many gardens.“

— Louis Sullivan
Context: Is it not Canon Hole who says: "He who would have beautiful roses in his garden, must have beautiful roses in his heart: he must love them well and always"? So, the flowers of your field, in so far as I am gardener, shall come from my heart where they reside in much good will; and my eye and hand shall attend merely to the cultivating, the weeding, the fungous blight, the noxious insect of the air, and the harmful worm below. And so shall your garden grow; from the rich soil of the humanities it will rise up and unfold in beauty in the pure air of the spirit. So shall your thoughts take up the sap of strong and generous impulse, and grow and branch, and run and climb and spread, blooming and fruiting, each after its kind, each flowing toward the fulfillment of its normal and complete desire. Some will so grow as to hug the earth in modest beauty; others will rise, through sunshine and storm, through drought and winter's snows year after year, to tower in the sky; and the birds of the air will nest therein and bring forth their young. Such is the garden of the heart: so oft neglected and despised when fallow. Verily, there needs a gardener, and many gardens. Ch. 4 : The Garden

„Truly we are face to face with great things.“

— Louis Sullivan
Context: Truly we are face to face with great things. The mind of youth should be squarely turned to these phenomena. He should be told, as he regards them, how long and bitterly the race has struggled that he may have freedom. His mind should be prepared to cooperate in the far-reaching changes now under way, and which will appear to him in majestic simplicity, breadth and clearness when the sun of democracy shall have arisen but a little higher in the firmament of the race, illumining more steadily and deeply than now the mind and will of the individual, the minds and wills of the millions of men his own mind and his own will.

„After the long night, and longer twilight, we envisage a dawn-era: an era in which the minor law of tradition shall yield to the greater law of creation, in which the spirit of repression shall fail to repress.
Man at last is become emancipated, and now is free to think, to feel, to act free to move toward the goal of the race.“

— Louis Sullivan
Context: After the long night, and longer twilight, we envisage a dawn-era: an era in which the minor law of tradition shall yield to the greater law of creation, in which the spirit of repression shall fail to repress. Man at last is become emancipated, and now is free to think, to feel, to act free to move toward the goal of the race. Humanitarianism slowly is dissolving the sway of utilitarianism, and an enlight- ened unselfishness is on its way to supersede a benighted rapacity. And all this, as a deep-down force in nature awakens to its strength, animating the growth and evolution of democracy. Under the beneficent sway of this power, the hold of illusion and suppression is passing; the urge of reality is looming in force, extent and penetration, and the individual now is free to become a man, in the highest sense, if so he wills.

„These two happenings seem jointed and interdependent, blended into one like a bubble and its iridescence, and they seem borne along upon a slowly moving air. This air is wonderful past all understanding.“

— Louis Sullivan
Context: All things in nature have a shape, that is to say, a form, an outward semblance, that tells us what they are, that distinguishes them from ourselves and from each other. Unfailingly in nature these shapes express the inner life, the native quality, of the animal, tree, bird, fish, that they present to us; they are so characteristic, so recognizable, that we say simply, it is "natural" it should be so. Yet the moment we peer beneath this surface of things, the moment we look through the tranquil reflection of ourselves and the clouds above us, down into the clear, fluent, unfathomable depth of nature, how startling is the silence of it, how amazing the flow of life, how absorbing the mystery! Unceasingly the essence of things is taking shape in the matter of things, and this unspeakable process we call birth and growth. Awhile the spirit and the matter fade away together, and it is this that we call decadence, death. These two happenings seem jointed and interdependent, blended into one like a bubble and its iridescence, and they seem borne along upon a slowly moving air. This air is wonderful past all understanding. Yet to the steadfast eye of one standing upon the shore of things, looking chiefly and most lovingly upon that side on which the sun shines and that we feel joyously to be life, the heart is ever gladdened by the beauty, the exquisite spontaneity, with which life seeks and takes on its forms in an accord perfectly responsive to its needs. It seems ever as though the life and the form were absolutely one and inseparable, so adequate is the sense of fulfillment.

„What are books but folly, and what is an education but an arrant hypocrisy, and what is art but a curse when they touch not the heart and impel it not to action?“

— Louis Sullivan
Ch. 36 : Another City Variant: To teach is to touch the heart and impel it to action. This exact expression has not been located in available editions of this work, and might be simply a paraphrase of the above statement.

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