Bauhaus

A design and Architecture school, founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany, by Walter Gropius, an architect, and Paul Klee, a painter.

They were joined by

Wassily Kandinsky,
Joseph Albers,
Mies van der Rohe,
and other art luminaries.

The school merged industrial arts, architecture, and art into a unified curriculum

This was as revolutionary as their liberal political philosophy.

 

  • The central idea behind the teaching at the Bauhaus was productive workshops.
    • carpenter's workshop
    • a metal workshop
    • a pottery workshop
    • facilities for painting on glass
    • mural painting
    • weaving workshop
    • printing workshop
    • wood workshop
    • stone sculpting
  • Famous modern artists like Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger and Kandinsky were invited to lecture at the school.


Early years

  • In the early years of Bauhaus There was no distinct style.

 

  • The style of products and art were influenced by the professor's styles.  

 

Theo van Doesburg's De Stijl course

 

 

Bauhaus exhibition poster
(1923)
Joost Schmidt

 

Foundation studies

The foundation course was first taught by several of the professors-Johannes Itten, then Laszlo Moholy-Nagy after 1923, & Paul Klee.

  • find the principles of design that would respect in axiom the "truth to materials"
  • "Bauhaus approach"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Klee's exercise in color

Paul Klee's exercise in shapes

Paul Klee's exercise in color/shape

 

  • discover abstract ideas of texture, volume, form, space, color, and transparency

 


Typography, Printing, Photography
  • By the time of the first major exhibition of all Bauhaus products, held in Weimar in 1923, the catalogue showed the influences of De Stijl movement and Russian constructivism.

  • The Bauhaus was forced to move to Dessau

  • The workshop was first under the direction of Herbert Bayer and then Joost Schmidt took over and changed the course to title, "Commercial art."

 

This very modern appearance signaled the beginning of a stable alliance between the
"New Typography"
and the Bauhaus.

 

  • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy changed the direction of typography at the school

  • Moholy-Nagy prevailed in developing an asymmetrical typography that was both clear and convincing

 

inside:
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

   
  • Geometrically constructed letterforms printed in red and blue on a black background are compressed into a square space as the cover.

  • The title page shows a page structure, which is based on a rhythmic series of right angles.
    Stripes applied to 2 words create a second
    spatial plane.

 

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

 

Moholy-Nagy was very intrigued by new techniques such as:

  • photomontage: the technique of manipulating & merging photographic images.
  • photograms: allowed the artist to capture a pattern of light and dark on a sheet of light sensitive paper without a camera.

 

 

Photogram
(1922)

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

The World Foundation
(1927)

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light itself becomes a malleable medium for generating design and form.

 

 


Typophoto poster for tires

 

  • He merged his experiments with typography and photography and pushed the idea of the typophoto (especially in posters) which was the integration of word and image to communicate a message with immediacy.

  • He thought that photographic images (with their objective view of the world) could free the viewer from depending on another person's interpretation.

  • He used techniques such as enlargement, distortion, dropouts, double exposures and montage.


 

 

 

 

  • Photography was not taught at the Bauhaus until Laszlo Moholy-Nagy came on board. He published articles and book on experimental photographic techniques.

  • Moholy-Nagy published the book "Malerei, Photographie, Film (Painting, Photography, Film, 1925)" which was illustrated with many of his own photographs.

  • He demonstrated unusual camera vantages and various darkroom techniques that were tantalizingly fresh: they constituted, he believed, a "new vision" for a medium that was surely the expressive vehicle of the future.

  • Letterforms, Photography, and design elements are integrated into an immediate and unified communication.
Bauhaus (1919-1933)  

 

14 Bauhaus Books (1927)
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

 

 

  • In 1924, the Bauhaus school moved to Dessau, Germany and the curriculum was reorganized.

  • This design takes the principle of self reflectiveness

    —it is made up of a block of type, photographed in reverse and the message becomes the medium.

Bauhaus Books


Dust Jackets for the Bauhaus books (1924-30)
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

 

 

 

Jackets for volumns 5 and 10 evidence close ties with De Stijl; 12 & 14 signify modern architecture.

  • Moholy-Nagy described typography "as a tool of communication."

 

  • He believed that clarity and legibility should be emphasized and that the communication must not be impaired or letters must not be forced into a certain framework (like a square) for the overall design. He did believe in the use of all linear directions and used all typefaces, sizes, colors.

 

Herbert Bayer

 

In 1926, the Bauhaus was renamed Hochschule für Gestaltung (High School for Form) and the influential Bauhaus magazine began publication.

 

This magazine, along with the series of fourteen Bauhaus books, disseminated advanced ideas about theory and its application to architecture and design.

A page of typography joins the designer's tools and basic geometric forms in photographic still life.

Composed before a camera instead of at a drawing board, this cover achieves a rare integration of type and image.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover of bauhaus magazine (1928)
Herbert Bayer
 

 

 

  • This experiment in reducing the alphabet to one set of geometrically constructed characters maximizes difference between letters for greater legibility.

     
  • The lower forms show different weights.

     
  • Later variations include the bold, condensed, typewriter, and handwriting styles.


 

 

 

Universal Aphabet
(1925)
Herbert Bayer
 

 

 

 

What happened?
 
  • School closed:
    German authorities considered it not only educationally unsound, but politically subversive as well. Once Hitler came to power, the Nazis launched an aggressive campaign against Modernist art and the school was finally forced to close.

  • Moved to US: Most of the faculty emigrated to the US where a semblance of the school ended up in Chicago.

  • Today: American art schools have also rediscovered the Bauhaus school. The Master Craftsman Program at Florida State University bases its artistic philosophy on Bauhaus theory and practice.

The attack on the Bauhaus, (1932)
by Iwao Yamawaki


While the school was largely apolitical,
the Nazi cultural policy-makers
saw the modern art and design as fundamentally
as Marxist-Communist
and 'un-German"

Some other outstanding graphic artists of the times were lecturers at the Bauhaus:

Anni Albers
(wikipedia)

Josef Albers
(wikipedia)

Marcel Breuer

Wassily Kandinsky

Paul Klee

László Moholy-Nagy

Joost Schmidt
(a collection of his works at the MOMA)

and more.....

Check out this website
on the Bauhaus Exhibition at the MOMA.

You will love it.