Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jill Krementz Photo Journal - Bauhaus 1919-1933

Enlarged photos of Bauhaus students at entrance to Exhibition. The image which appears on the wall right outside of the Bauhaus gallery on the 6th floor is a detail of a work by Edmund Collein. It’s from a photocollage by Mr. Collein made as part of a portfolio that was given to Walter Gropius on his departure from the school in 1928.
Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity
The Museum of Modern Art
November 8, 2009-January 25, 2010

The Bauhaus School in Germany — the most famous and influential school of art in the 20th century — brought together artists, architects and designers all of whom wanted to rethink the form of contemporary life. The students and faculty of the school had a transformative effect on the 1920s and 1930s. The effects are still felt in our contemporary world.

This spectacular exhibition, curated by Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman, brings together over 400 works reflecting the broad range of the school's production and includes furniture, textiles, ceramics, photography, sculpture, painting, and even puppets.

The installation, which has been beautifully designed by Jerome Neuner, is organized in loose chronological order with sections devoted to the Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin years.

In 1938 MoMA had its first Bauhaus exhibition which was curated by Walter Gropius. And now, seventy years later, we are fortunate to once again celebrate this mythic phase of art.
MoMA's Director Glenn Lowry welcomes guests to Bauhaus press preview.
Lyonel Feininger, Zirchow VII 1918.
Gerhard Marcks, Altärchen (Small altar) 1920.
Rudolf Lutz, Relief study for preliminary course taught by Johannes Itten 1920-21. Unknown artist, Texture study for preliminary course taught by Johannes Itten 1919.
Werner Graeff, Rhythmic study for preliminary course taught by Johannes Itten 1921-22. The preliminary course, initiated by Johannes Itten, established one of the Bauhaus's most fundamental and distinctive premises: students of all arts should be instructed in the principles of abstraction before moving on to specific areas of study. Itten assigned exercises encouraging students to explore the properties of color, form, and materials in themselves.
Johannes Itten, Farbenkugel in 7 Lichtsufen und 12 Tönen (Color sphere in 7 light values and 12 tones). From Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit (Utopia: Documents of reality), ed. Bruno Adler (Weimar: Utopia Verlag) 1921. Itten's teaching shaped one of the Bauhaus's most distinctive and influential pedagogical principles: students should be schooled in the abstract language of color and form before moving on to specific areas of practice. Though Itten was influenced by earlier color studies, the twelve-part structure of this diagram marks a departure. Itten correlated a twelve-point color system with the twelve notes of the musical scale. Joost Schmidt, Poster for the 1923 Bauhaus exhibition 1922-23. The 1923 Bauhaus exhibition was an opportunity for the school not only to display the products of its first four years but also to create a compelling public identity for itself. Along with the wall-painting workshop's efforts to place bold form and graphic text in the architectural space of Weimar buildings, a major publicity program was undertaken that included the posters, postcards, and publications on display here.
Theobald Emil Müller-Hummel, Untitled (Pillar with cosmic visions) 1919. Marcel Breuer & Gunta Stölzl (Textile), "African" or "Romantic" chair 1921. The discerning visitor will notice five legs.
Marianne Brandt designed this coffee and tea service for a fellow Bauhaus student, the weaver Marli Ehrmann. Brandt's famous teapot is built from a small inventory of geometric forms — circles, cylinders, and spheres — which are repeated and adapted in the other pieces according to their functions. Plans to put this service into serial production came to naught. The set itself defies such ambitions: it is made of precious materials and meticulously handcrafted, likely through the collaboration of several of the school's workshops.
Theodor Bogler, Selected pieces from tea set 1923.
Paul Klee, Hand puppets created for the artist's son, Felix Klee 2006-08.
Alma Buscher, Bauspiel "Schiff" ("Ship" building toy) 1923.
Eberhard Schrammen, Maskottchen (Mascot) c. 1924. Schrammen translates the human figure into a configuration of spheres, cones, and discs that rotate on a series of pivot points. Oskar Schlemmer & Josef Hartwig (woodwork), Grotesk I (Grotesque I) 1923. The head in profile with bulbous forehead and chin, pursed lips, and simple eyes is a caricature or, in Schlemmer's terms, a grotesque: an intentional deformation that triggers both laughter and repulsion.
Margaretha Reichardt, German, 1907-1984, at Bauhaus 1926-1931, Exercise for preliminary course taught by Josef Albers 1926. Wood, paint, and metal.
Kurt Schmidt & Toni Hergt (fabricator), Seven of eight puppets for the play Die Abenteuer des kleinen Buckligen (The adventures of the little hunchback) directed by Oskar Schlemmer at the Bauhaus theater, Weimar 1923.
Marcel Breuer, Children's table and chairs 1923.
Peter Keler, Cradle 1922. Wood, colored lacquer, and rope work. Benita Koch-Otte, Carpet for a children's room 1923. Linen and line-and-cotton twill weave, cotton, and viscone.
Oskar Schlemmer, Bauhaustreppe (Bauhaus stairway) 1932.

Figures in architectural spaces were common motif for Schlemmer, but rarely is the architecture identifiable. here the unornamented staircase flooded with light through a wall of griddled glass is the unmistakable interior of the Bauhaus building in Dessau. Schlemmer made this painting two years after he left school, in the weeks immediately following the closing of the Dessau Bauhaus by National Socialists on August 22, 1932. In its integration of rationalized bodies into a modern architectural space, the work is both a celebration of and a memorial to a certain vision of modernism then under threat.
Lothar Schreyer, Death house for a woman 1920.

"This is the strangest work I have seen in years. I have never encountered anything like it." It was with this mixture of perplexity and fascination, according to the artist Lothar Schreyer, that his Bauhaus colleague Vasily Kandinsky responded to this brightly painted coffin in Schreyer's studio. Mounted on the wall above it was the painted lid of another coffin--though Schreyer himself avoided the word "coffin," referring to his macabre studio props as Totenhaus der Frau (Death house for a woman) and Totenhaus de Mannes (Death house for a man). Complaining about the uglliness of traditional coffins, Schreyer created these shortly after marrying, The originals can no longer be seen as the artist used them to bury his parents.
Josef Albers, Scherbe ins Gitterbild (Glass fragments in grid picture) c. 1921.
Joost Schmidt, Neue Schachspiel (The new chess game). Design for an advertisement 1923. Josef Hartwig, Chess set (model XVI) 1924.
Jettisoning serif flourishes that mimic the trace of a handheld pen and the thin lines of traditional letterforms, Bayer created a small inventory of forms drawn with a compass, T-square, and right angle that could be used to make all the letters of the alphabet. Bayer further streamlined the alphabet by eliminating capital letters. It was never manufactured as metal type for printing, but hand-rendered on many Bauhaus posters and brochures and reproduced in Bauhaus publications, it had an extraordinary impact on subsequent typographic design.
Josef Albers, Working design for Kombinations-Schrift (Combinatory letters) 1926.
John Zeaman, Art Critic for The Record and Jason Edward Kaufman, Chief U.S. Correspondent for The Art Newspaper. Susan Morris, media producer and Vilislava Petrova, Associate Editor of WGSN.com.
Lucia Moholy, Untitled (Florence Henri) 1927. László Moholy-Nagy, Untitled (Ellen Frank) c. 1929.
Josef Albers, Goldrosa c. 1926. Josef Albers, Upward c. 1926.
Bauhaus building models.
Marianne Brandt, Unsere irritierende Grossstadt (Our unnerving city) 1926. Paul Klee, Maske Furcht (Mask of Fear) 1932.
Following the press preview there was a luncheon for the members of MoMA's International Council.

Evening reception for lenders to the exhibition and invited guests ...
Marie-Josée Kravis with Leah Dickerman. Ms. Dickerman, a curator in MoMA's Department of Painting and Sculpture, co-organized (with Barry Bergdoll) the exhibition and co-authored (with Mr. Bergdoll) the show's worthy catalogue. Dara Kiese, curatorial assistant in MoMA's department of architecture & design with her son Arlo Cyran. "Arlo is 4 1/2 so I've been working on this show for half of his life."
Jerry Neuner, the designer of the exhibition. Mr. Neuner has been at MoMA for 30 years.
Andres Lepik, Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA on left with his mother and father in law, Christine and Bertram Steingräber (center) and with his wife Dr. Cristina Ines Steingräber. MoMA's Director, Glenn Lowry arrives.
Sculptor Andrew Logan who lives in London. Mr. Logan is wearing some of his own sculpture.
Dr. Paul A. Marks, former President & CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering. Dr. Marks' research centered on a new approach to cancer called cytodifferentiation therapy in which malignant cells are induced to stop their uncontrolled growth and behave in a more normal fashion.
Franz Scala, Der Traum (The Dream) 1919. A sleeping figure hovers above an illuminated town set amid a dense dreamscape of fragmented rounded and faceted forms. Isolated German words—meaning, from center, dream, yearning, birth, and dying—emerge from this nocturnal realm. Student painting in the early years of the Bauhaus was often closely linked to a master's own artistic style, and this painting's color palette, geometric forms, and mysticism clearly register Johannes Itten's tutelage as well as the influence of avante-garde artists outside the school, such as Marc Chagall and Franz Marc. Scala was one of a group of students who followed Itten from Vienna to the Bauhaus in 1919.
Steve Pyke, a great photographer whose work appears regularly in The New Yorker. MoMA's Curator of Photography Roxana Marcoci, Jerry Neuner, and Ann Temkin, who was recently named chief curator of MoMA. Ms. Temkin curated the Martin Kippenberger exhibit.
Art dealer, Robert Brown of Reinhold Brown Gallery.
Sculptor Brooke Larson, who teaches at School of Visual Arts. Michael Lynne, who is "just a year into" his new film company, named Unique Features.
David E. Bright, Senior Vice President-Communications at Knoll. Knoll's furniture echoes many of the Bauhaus artists. Architect Josef Asteinza, Drew Levitt, and Randy Bourscheidt, President of Alliance for The Arts.
Catalogue for show, Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, published to accompany a major multimedia exhibition, is MoMA's first comprehensive treatment of the subject since its famous Bauhaus exhibition of 1938. Many of the objects discussed and illustrated here have rarely if ever been seen outside of Germany. Includes 475 illustrations. $75.00. Members: $67.50.
Note cards for sale in the gift shop.
Buttons for sale in the gift shop.
Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.