Discovering Beauty in the Commonplace

In Focus: Brandenburg

Tillmann Franzen, tillmannfranzen.com

Bogler - The Bauhaus in Brandenburg

Hedwig Bollhagen was the great lady of ceramics and one of Germany’s most important female designers, who created objects that were inspired by Bauhaus. Her workshops in Marwitz, which she managed right up to her death in 2001, produce not only handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces based on her designs, but also works by Bauhaus artist Theodor Bogler. Once a month, the HB workshops offer the chance for visitors to experience the production of their famous storage jars live in action. The next date for this special guided tour is 31 May and advanced registration is requested. Anyone who wants to see how the prizewinning designs of Hedwig Bollhagen are made is always welcome.

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Christoph Sillem
HB-Werkstätten

Design for Life – Bauhaus Design in the GDR

The GDR and Bauhaus – it’s not an easy to story to tell. The treatment experienced by former Bauhaus members in the GDR was full of contradictions. Around 1950 they became a target of the SED ruling party, which aligned its cultural policy along traditionalistic lines according to the Soviet model. The slow rehabilitation of Bauhaus did not begin until the 1960s. This culminated in the Bauhaus being accepted as “national cultural heritage”, and it was popularised in a series of stamps issued in 1980. A new special exhibition at the Documentation Centre of Everyday Culture of the GDR in Eisenhüttenstadt presents furniture, jars, technology and graphic design that rooted Bauhaus modernism in the GDR. The curators will be taking visitors through the exhibition on 26 May.

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Armin Hermann für Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR
Cup set Meladur

Material and Space

The workshops for children, adolescents and adults at Galerie Bernau begin with the question: “Who was who at the Bauhaus?”. They are part of the Bauhaus-Labor, a hands-on laboratory set up by artist Anne Mundo in collaboration with the gallery. On 8 and 22 May, the workshops focus on Theo van Doesburg, Johannes Itten, Paul Klee and László Moholy-Nagy. Time for experiments and fun: a three-dimensional collage will be created from collected and brought items. Using natural and artificial light, the contrast of light and dark, and transparent coloured film near the windows, Anne Mundo and the workshop participants will examine space as a field of tension to be documented in drawings and explored through dance-like movements.

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Galerie Bernau
Material and Space, Bauhaus-Labor

Preservation and development of a time shift

Brandenburg officially inaugurates the Bauhaus Year with the 27th annual Brandenburg Heritage Day on 10 May. Its common theme is an exploration of the threatened built fabric of modernism. Many historical monuments of modernism were not only experiments of architectural design; their materials and means of construction were also often prototypes too. How, in practical terms, can historic preservation secure the existing built fabric for the future?  This question is asked by monument preservationists, planners and conservators at the ADGB Trade Union School in Bernau, a Bauhaus historical monument. The building has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2017. The second director of the Bauhaus, Hannes Meyer, and Hans Wittwer designed the school building and its integral dormitories. They were built in collaboration with the Bauhaus building department between 1928 and 1930.

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Schneider, BLDAM 2006
Sports hall of the ADGB School, Bernau near Berlin
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