A History of Bauhaus in 10 Objects

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Launch Slideshow

The artists and designers that passed through the doors of the Bauhaus school produced some of the most important images and experimental pieces of design of the 20th Century. From functional domestic objects such as chairs and tableware, to the geometric patterns use in clothing design, painting and photography, the movement was deeply progressive in its approach to methods of living. The lasting effects of the Bauhaus philosophy are still present in the design aesthetic of today — influencing contemporary trends in typography, architecture and product design. We look back over ten key pieces that exemplify and shaped the movement. 

Bauhaus_Defining a Century
5 & 6 October 2017 | London

A History of Bauhaus in 10 Objects

  • Marcel Breuer, Lattenstuhl , Model No. TI 1A.
    Estimate: £60,000—80,000.
    The aim of this design was to promote a comfortable and ergonomic seated posture within an easy construction which Breuer intended as a prototype for industrial mass-production. The aerial structure, pared back to an essential form on which cloth strips (made in the weaving workshop of the school), create the seat and back, can be viewed as a three-dimensional interpretation of a painting by his Bauhaus contemporaries.

  • Josef Hartwig and Joost Schmidt, Chess Set, Model No. XVI, 1924. Estimate: £30,000—40,000.
    A rare variant retaining its original card box, was designed by Josef Hartwig and Joost Schmidt, who designed not only the graphics but also additional promotional materials of the set. As of 1921, Hartwig was head of the wood-carving and sculpture workshop at Bauhaus.

  • Marianna Brandt, Electric Kettle, circa 1928.
    Estimate: £60,000—80,000.
    As one of the greatest female designers at the Bauhaus, she accepted the position of Head of Metal workshop in 1929. The present lot is a unique version of her well known Kettles, as this was used in her private household for many years.

  • László Moholy-Nagy, Untitled (Dessau), 1925-1926. Estimate: £250,000–350,000.
    László Moholy-Nagy's Photogram series is a renouncement of classical drawing techniques and an embrace of modern technology. One of the most influential "Meister" at the Bauhaus, Moholy-Nagy's main medium at the school was the Photogram, of which Untitled (Dessau) is a fine example, directly from the Estate of Moholy-Nagy. 

  • Josef Albers, Study for Homage to the Square: Coniferous, 1958. Estimate: £280,000–350,000.
    Study for Homage to the Square: Coniferous  is not only a primal display of Albers' revolutionary approach to the subjectivity of  colour, but quintessentially testifies to the radical impact Albers made on the canon of 20th Century Art. Formerly part of the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the present work has an impressive provenance, linking Albers to the Bauhaus and the influence both the school and Albers himself have had.

  • Paul Klee, Haus am Hügel (House on the Hill), 1935. Estimate: £200,000–300,000.
    Paul Klee was one of the first artists to be asked to work at the Bauhaus. When he finally moved there in 1921, he often eluded to his happiness here. His work from the Bauhaus period often concentrated on landscapes, such as Haus am Hügel

  • László Moholy-Nagy, Postcard No. 7 for the 'Bauhaus Ausstellung Weimar', 1923. Estimate: £8,000–12,000. Paul Häberer, Postcard No. 13 for the 'Bauhaus Ausstellung Weimar', 1923. Estimate: £6,000–8,000.
    These rare examples of Postcards by Paul Häberer and László Moholy-Nagy, were initially creates as part of a set of 20, sold at the first Bauhaus exhibition in 1923. In 2005 the Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired an entire set.

  • Lyonel Feininger, Architecturally Conceived, 1938. Estimate: £50,000–70,000.
    Lyonel Feininger was the first Master to join the school with Walter Gropius and said about his experience at the Bauhaus: "I am truly alive again, experience again! Every moment of the day… all my eager senses absorb the thousands of visual experiences...again I see the way leading upwards and forwards! As I never hoped to see it again."

  • Anni Albers, DO. I-VI. Estimate: £6,000–8,000.
    One of the most important female artists of the Bauhaus school, Anni Albers is best known for her weaving work. An influence that can be clearly seen in this series of geometric prints. 

  • Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Beyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Josef Albers and Wassily Kandinsky, 9 Issues 'Bauhaus Vierteljah-Zeitschrift Für Gestaltung' and Subscription Card, 1927-31. Estimate: £4,000–6,000.
    Intended to counter the growing criticism against the Bauhaus and provide information about events and tuition, it also provided a platform to advertise for the products of the workshops. The quarterly magazine was first published in 1926 with the opening of the new building in Dessau.

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