Futuristic Sounds and the Seating Comfort of Modernity

In the Spotlight | Saxony

Tillmann Franzen, tillmannfranzen.com

[Translate to English:] Nikolaischule

From the opening festival in Berlin to the Performa Biennial in New York, in 2019 many institutions are celebrating Oskar Schlemmer as the inspired director of the Bauhaus stage. The Bauhaus master was also an active painter throughout his life, and his extraordinary achievements in the realms of fine art and interior design are currently on view at an exhibition in Leipzig’s St. Nicholas Church. It is not for nothing that the Rabe House in Zwenkau, Saxony, built by Adolf Rading and now the centre of an exhibition, is considered a “highlight of Bauhaus architecture”. Its futuristic interior design owes much to designs by Schlemmer, who was also responsible for the legendary stairway in the Weimar Bauhaus.

 

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[Translate to English:] Ausstellung Hellerau

The exhibition “Hellerau – The Idea of the Synthesis of the Arts”, about the modernist triad of work, life and art that was also espoused by the Bauhaus, was originally developed through the initiative of the tradition-steeped Deutscher Werkbund Sachsen. It was created in 2006 in honour of “100 years of Hellerau” and has been expanded and updated continuously ever since. In celebration of the big Bauhaus anniversary, it has now found a permanent home on the grounds of the Hellerau Festival Theatre, where it can be seen free of charge until 6 pm every day.

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[Translate to English:] Lesesaal Leipzig

Modernism did not come to an abrupt end in Germany with the end of the Bauhaus, as demonstrated by a real gem of modern design, the so-called Bauhaus Reading Room in the German National Library in Leipzig. The reading room, opened in 1937 under the auspices of the Ministry of Propaganda, is distinguished by elegant tubular steel furniture by Mart Stam and reading lights with Kaiser idell lampshades. In the Year of the Bauhaus, the room can be explored in a one-hour guided tour – that also offers the chance to try out the seating comfort of the timeless chairs.

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[Translate to English:] Zukunftsräume

The tradition-rich city of Dresden, also known as Florence on the Elbe, was able to become a true Eldorado for lovers of modern art thanks to, among other things, a whole series of influential exhibitions in the 1920s. The current show “Spaces of the Future” brings the abstract-constructivist avant-garde back to Dresden and once again makes tangible – partly with reconstructions in virtual form – the Saxons’ enthusiasm for the creative awakening of society. The historical exhibition is rounded off with works by the contemporary artist Heimo Zobernig, who engages with Piet Mondrian’s designs for a villa in Dresden.

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[Translate to English:] Buch- und Schriftmuseum Leipizig

An exhibition at the German Museum of Books and Writing in Leipzig is devoted to the thoroughly modern theme of typography. Investigations of the relationship between design and communication already played a central role back in the advertising department of the Bauhaus. So it is not surprising that “Elementary Typography”, the standard work from 1925 by Jan Tschichold – who was one of the most important typographers of the 20th century but was never at the Bauhaus – exhibits strong influences from his Dessau colleagues. Like many of those at the Bauhaus, he had to leave Germany in 1933 – but his ideas spread all over the world through his work in exile. His legendary covers for Penguin Books can also be seen in Leipzig.

Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

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[Translate to English:] MDR Kammerkonzert

Last but not least, an MDR chamber concert highlights the music of artists with links to the Bauhaus. At the end of the month, works by Stefan Wolpe, Arnold Schönberg and Lyonel Feininger can be heard in Leipzig’s UT Connewitz cinema – interpreted by eight musicians from the MDR Symphony Orchestra. The Bauhaus: a feast for the ears!

 

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    [NF 2019; Translation DK]

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