Celebrate the centenary of this groundbreaking school of modernist abstraction
The Bauhaus—Germany’s legendary school of art, architecture, and design—was founded in Weimar by architect Walter Gropius in the spring of 1919. Gropius assembled an international group of faculty members including Josef Albers (German), Lyonel Feininger (American), Wassily Kandinsky (Russian), Paul Klee (Swiss), and László Moholy-Nagy (Hungarian). The school relocated twice during its brief existence (to Dessau in 1925 and Berlin in 1932) before its closure by the Nazi regime in 1933, but its aesthetic of geometric abstraction—and its stated goals of collaboration across disciplines and harmony between form and function—have had a lasting impact on the fields of architecture and industrial and graphic design.
“Radical Geometries” marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus with a group of more than 60 works on paper, primarily prints but also a number of drawings, photographs, and ten of the 20 postcards designed by faculty and students for the first Bauhaus exhibition at Weimar in 1923. The objects on display are drawn primarily from the MFA’s collection, augmented with key loans from private collections. The recent gift of Kandinsky’s dynamic portfolio of 12 prints Kleine Welten (little worlds), the artist’s magnum opus in printmaking, is shown in the exhibition for the first time.
“Radical Geometries” is timed to coincide with a wide range of centennial Bauhaus exhibitions across the country and the globe, including “The Bauhaus and Harvard” at the Harvard Art Museums and “Arresting Fragments: Object Photography at the Bauhaus” at the MIT Museum. A companion exhibition at the MFA, “Postwar Visions: European Photography, 1945–60,” explores the continuing influence of Bauhaus abstraction in the decades following World War II.