Bauhaus Utopias. Work on Paper

5 may, 1988 - 26 june, 1988 /
Sabatini Building, Floor 2
Exhibition view. Bauhaus Utopias. Work on Paper, 1988
Exhibition view. Bauhaus Utopias. Work on Paper, 1988

In 1919 the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar (State Bauhaus in Weimar) is established through the merge of the Weimar Academy of Fine Art and the Grand Ducal School of Arts and Crafts. It is founded by Walter Gropius, who applies his simultaneous experiences from the art schools and also has illustrious precedents such as the Deutscher Werkbund German association. In April 1919 its first manifesto is published, and the following year Bauhaus has more than one hundred and thirty pupils under its roof, equal in the number of men and women.

From the very beginning the teaching staff is made up of names such as Lyonel Feininger, Gerhard Marcks and Johannes Itten, who are later joined by Georg Muche, Oskar Schlemmer and Paul Klee. Diverse activities take place in the different workshops and studios in the school, with masters and apprentices - as the Bauhaus itself called them - participating in conferences, exhibitions, theatre productions, etc. The characters of the teachers means that the Bauhaus' development is not homogenous; the incorporation of Wassily Kandinsky and the controversial “De Stijl” mark the beginning of the first crisis and change of direction in 1923 with the withdrawal of Itten, Lothar Schreyer and the appointment of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Josef Albers.

The Bauhaus dissolves in December 1925 and continues in Dessau, a period marked by greater international exposure and the shaping of a more deeply-rooted functionalist theoretical discourse. It is run by Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer and, finally, Mies van der Rohe before its closure in 1932. The last phase, in Berlin, only lasts for one year following the arrest of some of its pupils and its dissolution by Mies van der Rohe, who refuses to accept the Gestapo's imposed conditions.

The exhibition entitled Utopías de la Bauhaus. Obra sobre papel (Bauhaus Utopias. Work on Paper) aims to reflect the vision of the group of artists as they firmly believe in the synthesis between teaching artistic activity and social reform.

The five phases of Bauhaus are represented in the exhibition: the handcrafted expressive and individualist phase (1919-1922); the first phase of constructivist production with a focus on formalism (1922-1924); the introduction phase, focussing on the functional and the industrial finish, with support from advertising (1924-1927); the fourth phase geared towards analysis and materialism and guided by production (1928-1930) and finally, the emphasis on the quality of material and production within the school of architecture (1930-1933).

Among the two hundred and fifty works exhibited, Paul Klee's twenty-five water colours stand out, taking up two of the exhibition halls, as do the drawings and watercolours by Oskar Schlemmer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's collages and watercolours. There are also a large number of documents used by the teachers in their classrooms as well as the students' pieces; for instance, works are displayed from the courses taught by the artists Johannes Itten, Moholy-Nagy, Joseph Albers, Paul Klee, Oskar Schlemmer and Wassily Kandinsky, who focuses his teachings on seminars and a class on colour. Finally, there are samples from workshops on typography, plastic arts, metal, murals, furniture, fabrics, ceramics and photography.

The disciplines of painting, architecture and theatre in Bauhaus are designated a unique space in the exhibition in order to perceive the coming together of artists in the school.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Instituto Alemán de Madrid
Wulf Herzogenrath
Exhibition Tour: 

Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest (March 9 - April 20, 1988); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (July 15 - September 4, 1988)

Bruno Adler, Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Alfred Arndt, Theo Ballmer, Rudolf Baschant, Herbert Bayer, Otti Berger, Max Bill, Erich Borchert, Heinrich-Siegfried Bormann, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Paul Citroen, Roman Clemens, Erich Comeriner, Erich Consemüller, Christian Dell, Otto Dorfner, Siegfried Ebeling, Theodore Lux Feininger, Lyonel Feininger, Werner David Feist, Carl Fieger, Hans Fishli, Fred Forbat, Werner Graeft, Ise Gropius, Walter Gropius, Karla Grosch, Ludwig Grote, Gertrud Grunow, Franz Rudolf Hartogh, Josef Hartwig, Fritz Hesse, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, Hubert Hoffmann, Ruth Hollós-Consemüller, Johannes Itten, Martin Jahn, Ernö (Ernst) Kállai, Vassily Kandinsky, Felix Klee, Paul Klee, Hans George Knoblauch, Benita Koch-Otte, Kurt Kranz, Otto Linding, Heinz Loew, Gerhard Marcks, Adolf Meyer, Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Lucia Moholy, Lászlo Moholy-Nagy, Farkas Molnar, Georg Muche, Richard Oelze, Gret Palucca, Gyula Pap, Walter Peterhans, Emil Rasch, Lilly Reich, Otto Rittweger, Karl Peter Röhl, Hajo Rose, Xanti Schawinsky, Hinnerk Scheper, Lou Scheper, Fritz Schleifer, Oskar Schlemmer, Joost Schmidt, Kurt Schmidt, Eberhard Schramen, Lothar Schreyen, Kurt Schwerdtfeger, Istvan (Stefan) Sebök, Mart Stam, Gunta Stölzl, Hans Thiemann, Wolfang Tümpel, Umbo (Otto Umbehr), Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Andor Weininger, Hans Wittwer, Carl Zaubitzer View more