Grit Kallin-Fischer

1926–1928 Bauhaus student

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © unknown
Self-portrait with cigarette, Grit Kallin-Fischer, around 1928

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Before moving to the Bauhaus in Dessau, Grit Kallin-Fischer (née Vries) had already studied painting with Karl Doerbecker in Marburg in 1911 and with Lovis Corinth at the Academy of Art in Leipzig from 1915 to 1917. After the First World War, Kallin-Fischer moved to Berlin and joined the local circles of artists there. She met the Russian emigré and musician Marik Kallin and they were married in 1920. The couple moved to London together.

In 1926, at the age of 29, Grit Kallin enrolled at the Bauhaus as an already fully trained artist. Following the basic course with Josef Albers and painting classes with Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, she studied in the metal workshop with László Moholy-Nagy and contributed to Oskar Schlemmer’s theatre class, where she met the American Bauhaus member Edward L. Fischer. She returned to Berlin in 1928.

 

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © unknown
Portrait of Alfredo Bortoluzzi, Grit Kallin-Fischer, 1927–1928

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She was already taking her first photographs while she was at the Bauhaus. They stand out from the mass of photographs produced at the Bauhaus through their brilliance, original formal language and artistic quality. In 1930, Kallin produced photographic works for the well-known journalGebrauchsgrafik.In 1931, she took part in the ‘Foreign Advertising Photography’ exhibition in New York alongside major figures from the photography and advertising scene such as Herbert Bayer, László Moholy-Nagy, Baron Adolphe de Meyer and Florence Henri.

Grit Kallin married Edward Fischer in 1934, and they moved to New York City together. In 1937, they moved into their own house, designed by Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. At the end of the Second World War, Kallin-Fischer travelled to Europe in 1947 and worked with the Swiss sculptor Hubacher in Zurich and the Italian sculptor Marini in Milan. When she returned to the USA at the end of the year, she continued to focus on sculpture and graphic design. Grit Kallin-Fischer died in Newtown, Pennsylvania, on 17 July 1973.

[AG 2015]

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © Fondazione Banca del Monte, Foggia
Portrait of Grit Kallin, Alfredo Bortoluzzi, 1929
  1. Literature:
  2. Fiedler, Jeannine (1990): Fotografie am Bauhaus, Berlin.
  3. The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum (1986): Grit Kallin Fischer. Bauhaus and other works, New Jersey.
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