Josef Albers and students in a group critique at the Bauhaus Dessau, 1928-29. The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. © Phyllis Umbehr/Galerie Kicken Berlin/ DACS 2012 © Otto Umbehr (Umbo
‘Junge Menschen – kommt ans Bauhaus!’ read a 1929 promotional brochure written by the Swiss architect and second director of the Bauhaus school Hannes Meyer. Now, more than eighty years later, the same slogan has been inscribed above the entrance to London’s Barbican Art Gallery where a new, extensive exhibition surveying the world’s most famous modern art and design school has opened earlier this month. Set among customarily black, red and white walls, the Bauhaus: Art as Life is an impressive showcase (the biggest show dedicated to the 1919-founded school and its masters to be held in the UK for more than four decades) of more than 400 works spanning across the mediums of architecture, product design, furniture, painting, textiles, photography, film and theatre. (more…)
'Chairs without Legs' guest exhibition at the Bauhaus Archive Berlin; photo by Rainer Viertlböck
Originally developed in tubular steel by a Dutch architect and furniture designer Mart Stam in the 1920s, soon after its invention cantilever chair has found itself the centre of attention, inspiration and reinterpretation among some of the most prominent Bauhaus figures such as Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Later, in 1960s, Verner Panton has popularised the form by creating the now-iconic, curvilinear ‘Panton’ chair which, at the time, was the first cantilevered chair made from a single piece of plastic. Since then, the ‘chair without legs’ has been revisited and refashioned innumerable amount of times by designers from across the globe. Now, to celebrate the history and undeniable adaptability of cantilever chair, Munich’s International Design Museum has organised a special guest exhibition which opened earlier last week (21 March) at the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin. (more…)
Marcel Breuer, Lounge Chair B 3, second version 1926. Photo: Hartwig Klappert, Berlin, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau
Exactly 90 years ago Weimar saw the foundation of the institution which more than any other influenced the architecture, design and art of the twentieth century.
The Bauhaus was one of the first colleges of design, and in the 14 years of its existence it brought together not just many of the most important artists, architects, designers and graphic artists of the age but also provided a blueprint for the comprehensive design and modernisation of our industrial society. At the time neither the teachers, their students nor society as a whole were able to predict with what ease and universal validity the design principles of the Bauhaus would be adapted to a range of applications worldwide. The institution itself was forced by conservative political forces to change location a number of times, moving from Weimar via Dessau to Berlin, where the Bauhaus was closed down in 1933 under political pressure of the Nazis.
Walter Gropis, 1928, Photo: Associated Press, Berlin Bauhaus Archiv
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