Bauhaus Construct: Fashioning Identity, Discourse and Modernism

Bauhaus Construct: Fashioning Identity, Discourse and Modernism

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0415778360

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Reconsidering the status and meaning of Bauhaus objects in relation to the multiple re-tellings of the school’s history, this volume positions art objects of the Bauhaus within the theoretical, artistic, historical, and cultural concerns in which they were produced and received.

Contributions from leading scholars writing in the field today – including Frederic J. Schwartz, Magdalena Droste, and Alina Payne – offer an entirely new treatment of the Bauhaus. Issues such as art and design pedagogy, the practice of photography, copyright law, and critical theory are discussed. Through a strong thematic structure, new archival research and innovative methodologies, the questions and subsequent conclusions presented here re-examine the history of the Bauhaus and its continuing legacy. Essential reading for anyone studying the Bauhaus, modern art and design.













the school generically as a style, visual unity was not a Bauhaus priority; rather, the Bauhaus emphasized the activities of art making and approached the medium as an active tool— as praxis. By categorizing Bauhaus objects according to a priori aesthetic criteria, Greenbergian medium specificity overlooks the role of objects as essential to Bauhaus practice, as means to an end rather than an end themselves. In contrast to the critic’s deductive reasoning, Albers saw meaning as induced through

environment. Moholy-Nagy’s preoccupation with this project is rooted in his long-standing belief that the task of the artist under modernity is not to produce individual autonomous works of art but to transform human vision. At stake in transforming vision is the conceit that a social and political revolution cannot come by simply supplying the masses with the correct political message. Instead, what is necessary is the fundamental reconfiguration of 151 Joyce Tsai how an individual perceives

architectural sculpture at the 1923 exhibition. So far this essay has addressed the 1923 workshop photograph largely in terms of the relationship of sculpture to architecture and the changing program of Bauhaus modernism. Yet, in addition to these struggles over the function of modernist sculpture, there are other crucial ways in which to understand this photograph. For one thing, the image’s radical cropping can suggest significant reinterpretations of the individual objects it depicts.

may be, they share a strikingly similar pictorial structure: a tightly framed perspectival construction that organizes the seemingly casually arranged objects into the same rational, geometric space of Bauhaus modernism. This is true to such a degree that the two images could be overlaid almost seamlessly onto one another. The individual sculptures, objects and advertisements become interchangeable elements that fill identical compositional roles regardless of which picture they inhabit. While

where many conventional ideas about men’s and women’s abilities and roles as students and artists held sway.13 Because the constitution of the Weimar Republic guaranteed women’s equality including the freedom to study, the school’s admission policy could not discriminate based on an applicant’s gender. Walter Gropius stated publicly that there should be no difference between the “beautiful” 185 Elizabeth Otto and “strong” sexes. However in 1920 the administration quietly changed its policy to

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