Bauhaus exhibition


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Bauhaus exhibition

  1. 1. Bauhaus twenty-21“An Ongoing Legacy”
  2. 2. Introduction Although the name Bauhaus is well known internationally, few people are truly aware both of the complexity of its history and the diversity of its architectural legacy. Bauhaus is a German expression meaning “house for building”. Evolving out of the “Arts and Crafts” movement, the Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919, bringing with him lessons learned under Peter Behrens, a highly influential German architect whose studio helped to develop Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (head of the Bauhaus School, 1930-1933), and Le Corbusier, a leader in the French Modernist movement. Walter Gropius and the two subsequent heads of the school, the architects Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, introduced principles that shaped the foundation of modern architecture. The Bauhaus masters emphasized the creation of classical forms without extraneous ornamentation; embracing technology, their philosophy stressed the search for solutions to contemporary design problems in urban planning, housing and utilitarian mass-production. Bauhaus twenty-21 “An Ongoing Legacy” will not only convey the architectural history, but also illustrate the enduring philosophies of the Bauhaus. The exhibition, by creating a visual as well as theoretical dialogue between the timeless modernism of Bauhaus architecture and the visions of contemporary practitioners, will offer a unique perspective on Bauhaus design philosophy as it relates to architecture and its relevance in today’s society. Synopsis Bauhaus twenty-21 will tell the history of the Bauhaus as well as the emergence and implementation of its architectural and design principles as they relate to architecture, from the origins of the school in Weimar to its closing in Berlin in 1933. With a selection of twelve of the most prominent architectural achievements of the Bauhaus, as seen through the lens of photographer Gordon Watkinson, the exhibition will illustrate both the founding architecture philosophy of the Bauhaus and its timeless modernism. Beyond the historical perspective, Bauhaus twenty-21 will present the continuing legacy of the Bauhaus, featuring an international group of well-known architects discussing major prin- ciples developed by the Bauhaus and how these translate into their work.1 Bauhaus twenty-21 “An Ongoing Legacy”
  3. 3. Detailed Description The exhibition will open with an introduction providing the historical, artistic and ideological background of the Bauhaus. Using a rich selection of digitized archival material, it will depict the ideas and events behind the creation of the School in Weimar (1919) as well as the philosophies developed by the Bauhaus under the leadership of the three school directors: Walter Gropius (1919-1928), Hannes Meyer (1928-1930), and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1930-1933), until its dissolution in Berlin (1933). Following the introduction the exhibition will focus on twelve of the most iconic achievements of Bauhaus architecture built before 1933: House at the Horn (Georg Muche/Adolf Meyer, Weimar, 1923), Office of the Bauhaus Director (Walter Gropius, Weimar, 1923-31), Bauhaus School (Walter Gropius, Dessau, 1925-26), Masters’ Houses (Walter Gropius, Dessau, 1925-26), Dessau-Törten Settlement (Walter Gropius, Dessau, 1926-28), Balcony Access Houses (Hannes Meyer, Dessau, 1929-30), Employment Office (Walter Gropius, Dessau, 1927-29), Steel House (Georg Muche/Richard Paulick, Dessau, 1926-27), German Trade Union Federation School (Hannes Meyer, Bernau, 1928-30), Werkbund Settlement Am Weißenhof with Apartment House (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Stuttgart, 1927), German Pavilion for the 1929 World Exhibition (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona, 1929), Tugendhat House (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Brno, 1930). A selection of digitized historical documents such as blueprints, plans, sketches, and drawings, next to short texts from Michael Siebenbrodt, will highlight each of the build- ings’ most significant architectural characteristics, illustrating their innovative design and technical realizations, while Gordon Watkinson’s interpretative photographs of each of the buildings as they stand today will offer an up-to-date perspective and demonstrate the timelessness of these architectural landmarks. Alongside each of the Bauhaus buildings the exhibition will showcase a single project by renowned contemporary practitioners, such as Werner Aisslinger (Berlin), Alberto Campo Baeza (Madrid), Dietmar Eberle (Lochau), Carlos Ferrater (Barcelona), Sean Godsell (Melbourne), Michael D. Kirchmann/SOM (New York), Mathias Klotz (Santiago de Chile), Shinichi Ogawa (Hiroshima/Tokyo), and Werner Sobek (Stuttgart). Illustrating the ongoing legacy of Bauhaus principles and forms in 21st century architecture, each of these contemporary buildings will be featured through a selection of digitized blueprints, plans, and sketches, next to a short text by its respective architect, as well as a sequence of Gordon Watkinson’s photographs.2 Bauhaus twenty-21 “An Ongoing Legacy”
  4. 4. Interspersed between the sections dedicated to the buildings the exhibition will present contemporary room like settings showcasing reproductions of Bauhaus furniture and objects designed before 1933 and still manufactured today by companies such as Knoll, Tecnolumen, Tecta, and Thonet. These installations, in which copies of the companion publication will also be on display, will invite the visitors to interact and consciously experience a unique environment specifically conceived for the exhibition, capturing the timeless character of these early 20th century seminal designs. (This portion of the exhibition can be edited or omitted for smaller venues). Conception Bauhaus twenty-21 “An Ongoing Legacy” has been initiated by New York based photographer Gordon Watkinson. Mr. Watkinson has worked as a commercial photographer for over 15 years, photographing notable sports figures, fashion models and directed broadcast commercials as well as promotional videos for large commercial clients. Recently, Mr. Watkinson has concentrated on photographing architecture and design, both as a fine artist and as a commercial photographer. Since the late 1990s he has been traveling around Europe photographing all of the major Bauhaus buildings designed before the School closed in 1933 for his project Bauhaus twenty-21. Curatorial Advisor The exhibition has been developed with the curatorial advice of Michael Siebenbrodt, Director of the Bauhaus-Museum in Weimar. Mr. Siebenbrodt is the co-author of The Bauhaus-Museum: The Kunstsammlungen in Weimar (1996), a chronological survey of art and art schools in Weimar between 1900 and 1930, and an overview of the prominent teachers and their work and theories. From 1985 to 1988, he was a researcher for the “Zentrum für Gestaltung” at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and during his last year there was head of the collection.3 Bauhaus twenty-21 “An Ongoing Legacy”
  5. 5. Specifications Photographs by Gordon Watkinson: 110-140 Digitized Technical Documents: Historical: 35-50 Contemporary: 25-30 Furniture & Objects (reproductions): 12-25 * Space Requirements: 400 m2 – 500 m2 / 4300 – 5300 sq feet (with furniture) 200 m2 – 250 m2 / 2000 – 2700 sq feet (without furniture) Security: Limited Participation Fee: Upon request Availability: Winter 2008/2009 – Open End * Depending on the exhibition space available About Foto+Synthesis The primary purpose of Foto+Synthesis is to present noteworthy national and international programs in the form of exhibitions, educational activities and companion publications. To this end Foto+Synthesis programs will encompass a wide array of topics, bringing together different ideas and influences from the particular perspective of the photographic image. Foto+Synthesis, in addition to its own curatorial work, will present projects developed in collaboration with the academics, artists, collectors, curators, gallerists, institutions, and organizations that make up the photographic community at large. Through its programming Foto+Synthesis will attempt to promote greater understanding of cultural, historical, social, political, and environmental issues and how they manifest themselves in contemporary thinking. Contact Alexandra Le Faou Foto+Synthesis e.V. P +1 646 652 6865 (US) P +49 30 67 51 18 53 (DE)4 Bauhaus twenty-21 “An Ongoing Legacy”