Learning From New Vision?

Courtesy of Anne Wilson and Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Anne Wilson, Disintegration Grid, detail, 1975, Paper ruh, raffia.

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Around 35 kilometres lie between Jena, where Aenne Biermann’s first major retrospective was shown in 1930, and the Gera Museum of Applied Arts, which for some years has been paying special attention to the work of this New Vision photographer. That’s because one year before the big Bauhaus centenary, 2018 also commemorates the 120th birthday of the artist, who died in 1933. Her oeuvre includes numerous photos with close-up views, extremely tight cropping, and illumination contrasts, linking her not only with the Bauhaus photographers but also with the protagonists of New Objectivity.

The development of a representative of New Objectivity – whose “Löber Bowl” is still reproduced and marketed even today – towards a more classic, more decorative design approach can be retraced in a comprehensive exhibition on the creativity of the ceramicist and sculptor Wilhelm Löber at the Berlin Ceramics Museum. Löber, who trained under Marcks at the Bauhaus in Weimar and also received the title of master craftsman from Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle(which still exists today), is a Bauhaus member who has wrongfully been somewhat forgotten. His work and his life reflect the fruitful search and the political errors of a German artist of the 20th century, who was expelled from both the Storm Troopers and the Socialist Unity Partybecause of personal incorruptibility.

During his lifetime, the “New Frankfurt” was not inferior in any way to the Bauhaus: under municipal planning director Ernst May, the tradition-conscious Free Imperial City became an internationally respected hotspot for forward-looking architects in the golden twenties. The Höhenblick housing estate was home to many of its protagonists, who lived in spacious, ultra-modern buildings: as part of a guided tour of this exclusive residential development from the modern era, the former houses of Ernst May, Martin Elsässer and Willi Baumeister are accessible and open to the public.

Eighteen years after the end of the Bauhaus and inspired by the Ulm School of Design, architect Lina Bo Bardi founded the design school “Instituto de Arte Contemporânea” (IAC) in São Paulo. The newchapter “Learning From” of the bauhaus imaginista series is now set to take place in an important work by the school’s founder. The exhibition at the SESC Pompéiacultural centre deals with one of the most important issues of international design pedagogy: What ethical dimensions does the cultural appropriation of modernism have in countries like Brazil – both then and now? The public programme for the exhibition takes place at the Goethe-Institut São Paulo.

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