Art historian Éva Forgács's book is an unusual take on the Bauhaus. She examines the school as shaped by the great forces of history as well as the personal dynamism of its faculty and students. The book focuses on the idea of the Bauhaus - the notion that the artist should be involved in the technological innovations of mechanization and mass production - rather than on its artefacts. Founded in 1919 by the architect Walter Gropius and closed down by the Nazis in 1933, the Bauhaus had to struggle through the years of Weimar Germany not only with its political foes but also with the often-diverging personal ambitions and concepts within its own ranks. It is the inner conflicts and their solutions, the continuous modification of the original Bauhaus idea by politics within and without, that make the history of the school and Forgács's account of it dramatic.
The Bauhaus school in Germany has long been understood through the writings of its founding director, Walter Gropius, and well-known artists who taught there such as Wassily Kandinsky and László Moholy-Nagy. Far less recognized are texts by women in the school’s weaving workshop. In Bauhaus Weaving Theory, T’ai Smith uncovers new significance in the work the Bauhaus weavers did as writers. From colorful, expressionist tapestries to the invention of soundproofing and light-reflective fabric, the workshop’s innovative creations influenced a modernist theory of weaving. In the first careful examination of the writings of Bauhaus weavers, including Anni Albers, Gunta Stözl, and Otti Berger, Smith details how these women challenged assumptions about the feminine nature of their craft. As they harnessed the vocabulary of other disciplines like painting, architecture, and photography, Smith argues, the weavers resisted modernist thinking about distinct media. In parsing texts about tapestries and functional textiles, the vital role these women played in debates about medium in the twentieth century and a nuanced history of the Bauhaus comes to light. Bauhaus Weaving Theory deftly reframes the Bauhaus weaving workshop as central to theoretical inquiry at the school. Putting questions of how value and legitimacy are established in the art world into dialogue with the limits of modernism, Smith confronts the belief that the crafts are manual and technical but never intellectual arts.
Release on 2013-03-01 | by Jeffrey Saletnik,Robin Schuldenfrei
Fashioning Identity, Discourse and Modernism
Author: Jeffrey Saletnik,Robin Schuldenfrei
Reconsidering the status and meaning of Bauhaus objects in relation to the multiple re-tellings of the school’s history, this volume positions art objects of the Bauhaus within the theoretical, artistic, historical, and cultural concerns in which they were produced and received. Contributions from leading scholars writing in the field today – including Frederic J. Schwartz, Magdalena Droste, and Alina Payne – offer an entirely new treatment of the Bauhaus. Issues such as art and design pedagogy, the practice of photography, copyright law, and critical theory are discussed. Through a strong thematic structure, new archival research and innovative methodologies, the questions and subsequent conclusions presented here re-examine the history of the Bauhaus and its continuing legacy. Essential reading for anyone studying the Bauhaus, modern art and design.
Release on 2019-10-22 | by Laura Forlano,Molly Wright Steenson,Mike Ananny
Author: Laura Forlano,Molly Wright Steenson,Mike Ananny
Pubpsher: MIT Press
Essays, photo-essays, interviews, manifestos, diagrams, and a play explore the varied legacies, influences, and futures of the Bauhaus. What would keep the Bauhaus up at night if it were practicing today? A century after its founding by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany, as an “experimental laboratory of the future,” who are the pioneering experimentalists who reinscribe or resist Bauhaus traditions? This book explores the varied legacies, influences, and futures of the Bauhaus. Many of the animating issues of the Bauhaus—its integration of research, teaching, and practice; its experimentation with materials; its democratization of design; its open-minded, heterogeneous approach to ideas, theories, methods, and styles—remain relevant. The contributors to Bauhaus Futures address these but go further, considering issues that design has largely ignored for the last hundred years: gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and disability. Their contributions take the form of essays, photo-essays, interviews, manifestos, diagrams, and even a play. They discuss, among other things, the Bauhaus curriculum and its contemporary offshoots; Bauhaus legacies at the MIT Media Lab, Black Mountain College, and elsewhere; the conflict between the Bauhaus ideal of humanist universalism and current approaches to design concerned with race and justice; designed objects, from the iconic to the precarious; textile and weaving work by women in the Bauhaus and the present day; and design and technology. Contributors Alice Arnold, Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, Karen Kornblum Berntsen, Marshall Brown, Stuart Candy, Jessica Charlesworth, Elizabeth J. Chin, Taeyoon Choi, B. Coleman, Carl DiSalvo, Michael J. Golec, Kate Hennessy, Matthew Hockenberry, Joi Ito, Denisa Kera, N. Adriana Knouf, Silvia Lindtner, Shannon Mattern, Ramia Mazé, V. Mitch McEwen, Oliver Neumann, Paul Pangaro, Tim Parsons, Nassim Parvin, Joanne Pouzenc, Luiza Prado de O. Martin, Daniela K. Rosner, Natalie Saltiel, Trudi Lynn Smith, Carol Strohecker, Alex Taylor, Martin Thaler, Fred Turner, Andre Uhl, Jeff Watson, Robert Wiesenberger
Release on 2009-08 | by Philipp Oswalt,Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau,Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin, Germany),Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
controversies and counterparts
Author: Philipp Oswalt,Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau,Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin, Germany),Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
Pubpsher: Hatje Cantz Pub
From its founding in 1919, the function and identity of the Bauhaus was mobilized by warring factions, as it passed through the guiding hands of its three directors (the apolitical Walter Gropius, the Communist Hannes Meyer and the progressive Mies van der Rohe). Even beyond the well-known controversies that arose between colleagues "during" the heroic Bauhaus years, the reception and legacy of the various Modernist icons associated with the Bauhaus led to dispute: Socialists, Communists, Nazis, Stalinists, Capitalists, Cold Warriors, student revolutionaries in the 1960s and later dissidents, all have created their own image of the Bauhaus. "The Bauhaus Debate 1919-2009" examines the critical reception of the legendary school, its teachers, students and pedagogical philosophy and the battles over its legacy that continue to this day.