In the year of the celebration of 100 years of Bauhaus - German school for architecture, design and visual arts, the Museum of Fine Arts in Split and the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Zagreb are contributing to this great jubilee by organizing the exhibition Bauhaus: from School to Movement. Through the works of Bauhaus students and teachers kept in the museums and private collections in Croatia, the exhibition delivers the narrative of this unique school that has completely changed the course of the global post-war architecture, design and art, despite the fact that it only existed for fourteen years.
The Bauhaus was founded in Weimar by Walter Gropius in 1919, the time just after the end of the WW1 and the constitution of the Weimar Republic. So, the historic circumstances have linked the new post-war German state to the school that has later strongly influenced global art and architecture of the 20th century. The school has had several periods marked by its relocations, first to Dessau (1925 - 1932) and later to Berlin (1932 – 1933), as well as by the changes of its leaderships that had influenced the changes in its programmes. The creative climax of the Bauhaus followed its relocation to Dessau in 1925 to the newly-built complex designed by Walter Gropius. Functionalism, clear form aesthetics, simplicity are some of the main guidelines for the educational programmes of the school that has introduced a new vision of the future. One of the main factors of education in Bauhaus was the synthesis of the artistic theories and praxes developed through creative courses and workshops in school, but also through individual artistic practices. Bauhaus very quickly became the international concept that today encompasses recognisable styles not only in architecture, art and design but also in a specific perspective towards life and lifestyle.
The exhibited works by the Bauhaus students from Dessau period - Otti Berger, Ivana Tomljenović and Gustav Bouhtinsky, hold a very important role in the history of Croatian art.
Alongside the Bauhaus students from Croatia, the exhibition shows the works by other students such as August Černigoj, Farkas Molnár, Lou Scheper and teachers such as Paul Klee and Marcel Breuer. These valuable works belong to the Marie Luise and Ruth Betlheim Collection that is kept in the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Zagreb. Separate segment of the exhibition will display the Bauhaus influences on the post-war architecture, art and design through the works of Croatian EXAT 51 group (Bernardo Bernardi, Ivan Picelj, Vjenceslav Richter, Aleksandar Srnec, Zvonimir Radić, Božidar Rašica, Vladimir Zarahović, Vladimir Kristl).
The exhibition will provide the overview of this unique movement that had developed and spread modernism worldwide through the selection of paintings, prints, photographs, architectural drawings and furniture, as well as through unique archival material that are kept in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Arts and Crafts, Museum of Fine Arts and private collections.
Theory and practice of Bauhaus have been the focus of interest of many experts and wider audiences over the last couple of years. Major projects such as Modell Bauhaus (Bauhaus-Archiv / Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin 2009) and Bauhaus 1919 - 1933: Workshops for Modernity (TheMuseumofModern Art, New York, 2009 - 2010), Bauhaus: Art as Life (Barbican, London 2012), Bauhaus – umrežavanje ideja i prakse (MSU Zagreb 2015) should be mentioned, as well as a number of published books and monographs about the school and its key artists. Recent researches have resulted in numerous studies of the Bauhaus influence on the architecture and art in Germany and later in the USA, but also in countries like Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia through the BAUNET project which represents the base for this exhibition. Recent social and political changes that have transformed Europe show that the cooperation and innovation in theory and practice, i.e. the key aspects of Bauhaus, are equally important for our present and our future.
The exhibition has been financed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, City of Split, City of Zagreb, and educational programme has been funded by the Goethe Institute Croatia.
On view till 11 December, 2019.