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CULTURE | 10.10.2016

Weimar goes Paris: New Art Show Celebrates Bauhaus Icons

Timelessness was invented in Weimar – or at least a design philosophy that like no other stands for furniture and home accessories that have endured for decades and work just as well in a prewar apartment with stucco moulding as in a high-tech loft with integrated elevator for the convertible.

For while we’ve seen quite enough of the wood-panelled ‘60s and the psychedelic patterns of the ‘70s, the modern look of Bauhaus works is still relevant 97 years after the influential art and architecture school was founded by Walter Gropius and Henry van de Velde.

So it is hardly surprising that a Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer has no trouble outliving various redesigns of an interior, such as a new wall colour, a different sofa or carpet, or even a move to a new home. When the school was founded in 1919 by the 36-year-old architect Gropius, the reserved and stark style caused a real stir. Compared to the massive ornamental furniture of the Art Deco movement, the smooth and minimalist designs seemed like a distant piece of the future. Even today it still is a compliment if a design is called “true Bauhaus!”

Even after the school was forced to close its doors in 1933, the designs by Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky or László Moholy-Nagy were not forgotten. How diverse and pioneering they were and still are, is now proven by the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris with the impressive exhibition “The Bauhaus Spirit”, taking place from October 19 to February 26, 2017.

The show will feature more than 900 pieces, including objects, furniture, textiles, drawings and models, which revive the spirit of the Bauhaus. During the tour, which is full of historical references, the visitor takes on the role of a Bauhaus student. Various workshops represent the different phases of the curriculum, which include, among others, the preliminary course and the study of formal relationships, materials, and building theory. In other words, this is a culture excursion that is the opposite of boring, where no one will crave for the sign “Exit through the Gift Shop”.

Learn more at: www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr

Photos: Vassily Kandinsky © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat; Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Bauhaus Lamp © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI / Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Claude Planchet / A.D.A.G.P. 2016; Marianne Brandt © Bauhaus Archive / A.D.A.G.P. 2016; Marcel Breuer © Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, Jean Tholance / A.D.A.G.P. 2016; Muller Van Severen, 2012 © Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, Jean Tholance

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