Mobilia Gallery's salute to the movement
Back in 1994 when I lived the life of an ex-pat, one of the countries I visited was Germany. I was a bit hesitant to visit Berlin because at the time I was reading book after book related to the Holocaust—research for a novel I wanted to write, but as my beau at that time pointed out, “You just finished reading about Weimar and Bauhaus, put aside the dark history and celebrate function and design of an object.” And he was right. So off we went with the agreement that we would take a side trip to Wannsee.
The Bauhaus Movement, or School, first entered the art scene in 1919 and was operational until 1933, when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and was closed down by the Nazis. The Movement was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar with the notion that it would bring together all forms of art—craft and fine art—as well as architecture. According to the Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in modern design, Modernist architecture and art, design, and architectural education. It also had a great influence in graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.
The Bauhaus School existed in three cities—Weimar 1919 to 1925; Dessau, from 1925 to 1932; and Berlin, from 1932 to 1933—and led by three architect-directors: Walter Gropius from 1919 to 1928; Hannes Meyer from 1928 to 1930; and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1930 until 1933, when the school was closed under pressure from the Nazi regime, which had been painted as a center of communist intellectualism, as noted in The 20th-Century Art Book.
With the centenary of its founding there have been a number of exhibitions, festivals, and events including Mobilia Gallery’s From Bauhaus to Our House, which opened on Spetember 14th and will run through October 31st. The show features a number of artists who have been inspired by the movement and who work in different mediums, including:
Textile artist Adela Akers: Both Vanishing Windows and Windows show her propensity to favor zigzags, checkerboard patterns, and simple geometric shapes.
Bauhaus Boogie pendant designed by Jim Bové was made specifically for the Mobilia Gallery exhibition, “From Bauhaus to Our House”. It is inspired by the Bauhaus painters and jewelry designs as well as the teachings of Itten and the other great Bauhaus artists.
Jewelry artist and metalsmith, Michelle Yun discovered jewelry making in high school, there was an instant connection working with metal and hand fabrication. Her artwork embraces the essence of traditional Korean art and repetitive geometric sequences. While using geometry as her ruler, she strives for the hands to become invisible in the work as a means to look machine made, but never being able to reach complete perfection. Facade 1 Brooch is modeled after Bauhaus architecture.
Joanne Haywood is s a mixed media art jeweler. Her work incorporates both traditional jewelery, metalsmithing and textiles techniques alongside innovative and personal processes developed through years of material explorations and “playing”. Each individual piece of work dictates the materials and processes used, including metals, textiles, wood, found objects and crochet, stitch, binding, felting, fusing, oxidising, wirework, painting and forming. Her GEO WEAVE TALISMAN incorporates cotton, brass, opal and wooden beads , merino felt, linen, cotton, flax yarns.
For the exhibition, Erik and Martin Demaine created a piece as an imagined collaboration with Josef Albers, a pioneer of the Bauhaus, modern art education, and curved-crease folding. “Our curved-crease sculpture is always inspired by Albers' foldings from the late 1920s, but we wanted to incorporate his later work on colored murals. Specifically, we adapted Albers' infamous 25' × 55' mural “Manhattan” (1963) that was in the lobby of the Met Life building (formerly the Pan Am building) until its controversial removal in 2000. Because the piece is currently in a landfill, we based our interpretation on the better-documented “Maquette for Pan Am Building Mural” (1963). We took the repeating middle part of the design, warped it around a circle, printed it onto paper, and folded along aligned concentric circular creases. The resulting pieces newly combine two aspects of Albers' work in a way that we hope he would find exciting.”
For more information visit www.mobilia-gallery.com.