Introducing the international Bauhaus Artists
Many of the names that appeared at the Bauhaus academy in Weimar – as Bauhaus masters or among its 150 to 200 students – went on to become internationally acclaimed artists and architects. The following renowned representatives of the Bauhaus movement and their most important pieces of work serve as examples of the Weimar period.
Painter, designer, photographer
László Moholy-Nagy, a hugely talented designer working with a wide range of materials, became head of the metal workshop in 1923. He had a profound influence on the development of modern products, photography, typography and stage work. As part of the preliminary course, he introduced new students to a systematic analysis of different materials and let them carry out studies on space and balance.
Painter, art theorist
Kandinsky was one of the most influential Bauhaus masters and head of the mural painting workshop from 1922 to 1925. He also held lessons on the theory of forms in the preliminary course, including an extensive module on colour theory. The allocation of the primary colours red, yellow and blue to the basic geometric shapes (square, triangle and circle) was based on a survey conducted by Kandinsky at the Bauhaus and inspired works such as the 'Cradle' by Peter Keler in 1922.
Painter, art lecturer and art writer
Itten influenced nearly all the workshops and the preliminary course, which he established as an obligatory semester of study. His highly sophisticated, nuanced curriculum included studies of nature and materials, but also classes such as gymnastics. Itten encouraged students to explore their own perceptions and pursue creative design approaches. He also promoted the religious and esoteric Mazdaznan teachings at the Bauhaus. Based on his theories he created works such as the Colour Sphere (1921).
He was the first master at the Weimar academy and created the famous woodcut 'Cathedral' in 1919 for the front page of the Bauhaus Manifesto. It was an allegory for the unity of arts and crafts that the Bauhaus movement was striving for. Until 1925, he was the head of the printing workshop, where key publications such as the 'Bauhaus-Mappen' (Bauhaus portfolios) were produced. His paintings of the village churches, a series of nearly 150 works, became particularly famous.
In the carpentry workshop, Marcel Breuer designed a number of wooden furniture pieces, including the 'African Chair' (together with Gunta Stölzl) in 1921 and the 'Slatted Chair' TI1a in 1922, which was made from identical individual pieces – a design concept that he also applied later in the making of his 'Wassily Chair'. In 1923, he designed the furniture for the living room and dressing room of the concept house 'Haus Am Horn' in Weimar, including pieces such as the Lady’s Dressing Table.
Henry van de Velde
gehört unbestritten zu den erfolgreichsten europäischen Designern und Architekten des 20. Jahrhunderts. Ab 1896 überwiegend für deutsche Kunden tätig, lebte der Belgier seit 1900 in Berlin und schließlich von 1902 bis 1917 in Weimar. Aus seiner Weimarer Kunstgewerbeschule ging 1919 das Staatliche Bauhaus hervor, dessen Direktorat Walter Gropius auf Empfehlung van de Veldes übernahm. Nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg fasste van de Velde zunächst in der Schweiz und ab 1920 in Holland Fuß. 1927 gründete er im Alter von 64 Jahren mit dem Institut Supérieur des Arts Décoratifs in Brüssel eine neue Kunsthochschule nach dem Vorbild des Bauhauses, die er bis 1936 leitete.
Walter Gropius hatte sich Weimar bewusst ausgesucht, in der Klassikerstadt wollte er seine Kunstschule ganz neuen Typs verwirklichen. Im Zusammenspiel aller Künste und des Handwerks sollte der Bau der Zukunft entstehen und ein besseres, modernes Leben gestaltet werden. Gropius leitete das Bauhaus auch noch in Dessau. 1934 emigrierte Walter Gropius nach England, 1937 in die USA, wo er als Professor für Architektur an der "Graduate School of Design" der Harvard-Universität arbeitete.