MoMA Designs a Bauhaus Retrospective

Museum of Modern Art, Bauhaus art exhibit
NEW YORK, NY — From architecture, industrial design, textiles and furniture, to graphics, painting and sculpture, the 20th century art movement known as the Bauhaus continues to influence our modern world (all one has to do browse the latest IKEA catalog for examples). In its first major exhibition dedicated to the Bauhaus since 1938, the Museum of Modern Art is celebrating the extraordinary artists, architects and designers of the avant-garde school.

The Bauhaus school was founded in 1919 and existed in three German cities: Weimar (1919-1925), Dessau (1925-1932) and Berlin (1932-1933), under three different architect-directors: Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The school was closed by the Nazi regime in 1933.

The Bauhaus aesthetic declared that there should be no distinction between form and function; art should meet the needs of society. The works are characterized by sleek simplicity, often incorporating industrial materials like wood and tubular steel, shaped by clean edges and geometric lines. The design isn't comfy, cozy per se, but it can certainly add sophisticated style to a room.

On Sunday, Workshops for Modernity: Bauhaus 1919-1933 opened at the MoMA; a retrospective exhibit featuring over 400 works by famed artists including Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer and Josef Albers.

“The content of the exhibit is as much student work as masters’ work…it is a portrait of a school," said Barry Bergdoll, co-curator and The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA. "[The Bauhaus school] believed that if you combined modern design and practicality and utility, the public would be converted,” Bergdoll said.
Workshops for Modernity: Bauhaus 1919-1933 (Nov. 8, 2009 - Jan. 5, 2010)
Museum of Modern Art | Website
[Photos: Top Left - Marcel Breuer. Nesting Tables (B9), 1924-26. | Top Right - Christian Dell. Wine pitcher, 1922. | Bottom - Vasily Kandinsky. Designs for wall-paintings for the Juryfreie Kunstschau (detail), 1922.]

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