Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bauhaus Book

I was gifted the extremely thorough and beautiful Taschen Bauhaus book, and here is a selection of my favourite images. I'm making an audience assumption that you know about Bauhaus, if not, please check it out. The school is unbelievably impressive and inspiring, in both it's output and function. One of the few cultural movements that successfully immersed every part of life in it's own philosophy. Partly paraphrased and partly quoted from the book.

Oskar Schlemmer's Triadic Ballet costumes in the 'Wieder Metropol' review at the Berlin Metropol theatre, 1926.

Kurt Schmidt, Friedrich Wilhelm Bogler and Georg Teltscher: The Mechanical Ballet. 1923
A group of student's influenced by Schlemmer's ballet produced their own, with more focus of technology; the dancers completely masked by bright blocked triangles, squares and circles.

Marcel Breuer: Table in the bauhaus school designed Sommerfeld house, 1922

Breuer used Constructivist forms when designing the furniture for this lady's dressing room of 1923, part of the experimental 'Haus Am Horn'. The structure of the furniture is emphasized though the contrast of light rosewood and dark walnut.

The dude himself, Marcel Breuer, in his famous Wassily tubular steel chair, also featured below. His deserves a post of his own.

The living room in Walter Gropius' "Masters" house, designed in conjunction with the Dessau Bauhaus building, 1925/26.

Cover for the first bauhaus journal published from the end of 1926 to 1931. In this virtuoso design for the first issue of 1928, Herbert Bayer takes the tools of his graphic art to illustrate a variety of representational levels and means.

Günter Conrad: Ground-plan and view of the living and dining room of an atrium house, 1931. Mies van der Rohe, the final director of Bauhaus, only taught senior-semester students, and his classes - as the highest stage of the curriculum - gave a chiefly aesthetic training in the spirit of his own philosophy and architecture. Major themes included the harmony between open space and its limits. Since many students adopted both forms and materials from Mies, virtually everything was a cope of the Master. Günter Conrad placed his teacher's Weissenhof chair at the table on the left and his Barcelona chair on the right.

Modern reproductions of the Weissenhof and Barcelona chairs.

The Attack on the Bauhaus. Collage by Iwao Yamawaki. 1932.
While the school was largely apolitical, the Nazi cultural policy-makers saw the modern art and design as fundamentally as Marxist-Communist and 'un-German"


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