Comprendre le Bauhaus
Any well-learned person knows the general idea: an unprecedented fusion of the arts that flourished during the republic of Weimar and died under the early Nazi boot; an impressive union of creators, from Gropius to Max Bill, from Lissitzky to Klee. But what lies behind this cliché? This little synthetic manual by a specialist of that period sets the Bauhaus movement in its time and shows that its history (1919-1933) held many more conflicts than one usually thinks. Conflicts between the main characters: either between Gropius the director and Itten, and his surprising pedagogic methods, or between Gropius and Von Doesburg, who was hurt not to be chosen as a teacher and organized counter-pedagogy. It is also a conflict of guiding principles, as the Bauhaus evolved brusquely from the exaltation of craftsmanship and the total work of art to an intermarriage with the most advanced technology. From Weimar to Dessau, from Dessau to Berlin, all those internal tensions are undoubtedly responsible for the wealth of this movement.
Review published in the newsletter #172 - from 29 April 2010 to 5 May 2010