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Carry Hauser (1895-1985)

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Increasingly important and one  painter i discovered recently through a magnificent monograph/oeuvre catalogue on Carry Hauser which is available at www.ftn-books.com

I had to read some articles on this Austrian painter to know and discover myself how his art life developed through the years and it appears that the timeslot of the INTERBELLUM was artistically the most important one for him. For a quick biography…here is the entry on Wikipedia on the artist:

Carry Hauser was born in Vienna as Carl Maria Hauser into the family of a civil servant. He was educated at the Schottengymnasium and the Höhere Graphische Bundes-Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt, after which he studied at the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule under, among others, Adolf Michael BoehmAnton von KennerAlfred Roller and Oskar Strnad. He then began his career as a painter, illustrator, theatrical designer and author, which was interrupted by World War I, for military service in which he volunteered in 1914. His war experiences made him a pacifist.

After the war he returned to Vienna, where among others he met Franz Theodor Csokor, for whose play Die rote Straße (“THe Red Street”) he designed the set in 1918. In the same year the first comprehensive exhibition of his work was held, in the museum at Troppau, and another was arranged for him by Arthur Roessler, although his earlier works had been lost during the war and could not be exhibited. He became still better-known in 1919 through his portfolio Die Insel (“The Island”).

From 1919 to 1922 Hauser was a leading member of the artists’ group Freie Bewegung (“Free Movement”), and also belonged to the artists’ society Der Fels (“The Rock”) while he lived for a time in Passau. From 1925 to 1938 he was a member of another artists’ group, the Hagenbund, of which he was president in 1927/28. In the theatrical world he was vice-president of the Vienna Theatre Guild (Wiener Theatergilde). During the 1930s in the time of the Ständestaat he was active in the Patriotic Front (Vaterländische Front).

After the Anschluss of 1938, Hauser, because of his political stance, was banned by the National Socialists from working and exhibiting. In 1939 he was given an appointment in the art school of Melbourne but was prevented from taking it up by the outbreak of World War II. His wife, Gertrud Herzog-Hauser (1894–1953), to whom he had been married since 1922, was of Jewish origin and emigrated to the Netherlands, where she managed to survive the war. Hauser went into exile in Switzerland, where he wrote Eine Geschichte vom verlorenen Sohn (1941, privately published 1945), the novel Zwischen gestern und morgen (1945) and the fairytale Maler, Tod und Jungfrau (1946).

In 1947 Hauser and his wife returned to Vienna and took part in the reconstruction. In 1952 he became General Secretary of the Austrian PEN Club, and later its vice-president, which he remained until 1972. He was also a council member of the organisation Aktion gegen Antisemitismus (“Action Against Antisemitism”) and was involved in the revival of the Berufsvereinigung der bildenden Künstler Österreichs (“Professional Union of the Fine Artists of Austria”), of which he was later vice-president.

He died in 1985 in Rekawinkel. He is buried in a grave of honour in the cemetery at Hietzing.

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Josef Albers Nesting Tables 1926/27

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This set of tables i first encountered at the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop where two types of these set were sold. One with colored perspex and one set with original italian fabricated glass. I had to had this and i ordered one set direectly from the manufacturer. These are so impressive and 100% like the original set which was originally designed at the Bauhasu by Josef Albers and thnis reedition from 2010 is one of the best small furniture items ever produced. I checked and this set is still available, but not as cheap as it originally was in 2010, but choose this set and you will have the pleasure of looking at one of the greatest functional Bauhaus designs ever made. Klein und More sells the original authorised set in Europe  and the Moma stora sells a set in their store for the US. Josef Albers is one of the artist of whom ww.ftn-books.com sells many items

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Albert Flocon (1909-1994)

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If i must compare Flocon with dutch artist it must be Maurits Cornelis Escher. Where Escher has its roots in geometry and math, Flocon is inspired by architecture and science He even studied at the Bauhaus under Josef Albers. Still Flocon has never become a household name in art.

In March 1965 they finally met.

Escher met the French artist and professor Albert Flocon, lecturer at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Flocon mainly created copper engravings and, like Escher, he was fascinated by the mystery of the perspective. Especially the curvilinear perspective, a form that Escher has also used several times (think of Hand with reflecting sphereBalconyThree Spheres IIDrop (Dewdrop) and Self Portrait in Spherical Mirror). Together with his colleague André Barre, in 1967 he published a book about this special perspective: La Perspective curviligne de l’espace visuel à l’image construite. In 1987 it was published in the US under the title Curvilinear Perspective: From Visual Space to the Constructed Image.The meeting proved to be of great importance to Escher; Flocon ensured that his prints became known in Paris. The professor personally mediated on the sale of prints and an organized Escher exhibition in Paris. In October 1965 Flocon published a ten-page article about Escher in the important monthly Jardin des ArtsA la frontiere de l’art graphique et desiques: Maurits-Cornelis Escher. In it he combined biographical information with analyzes of the prints and quotations from a conversation with Escher. The article gives a good description of Escher’s place in the art world. Previous Dutch art critics never came much further than pointing out that Escher’s work was (too) cerebral. Flocon gave a positive turn to this.

there are not many publications on Flocon, but ftn-books.com has one together with may Escher publications.

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Marianne Brandt (1893-1983)

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Marianne Brandt is one of the true fist multi disciplined female artists from last century. One of the front “(wo)men” for Bauhaus and what it stands for. She was responsible for some truly great designs for everyday objects.

Teapots, lamps, cupboards and plates, she has designed it.
Lesser known is that she was one of the pioneers of Photomontage.

A discipline in which she excelled and on which subject a few years ago an exhibition was dedicated at the Bauhaus Museum in Berlin ( catalogue available at www.ftn-books.com)

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It is time that outside Germany Marianne Brandt becomes known for her excellent designs. At auctions her designs are very much sought after and reach record prices, so how is it possible that a great female artist like Marianne Brandt is hardly known?

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Herbert Bayer (1900-1985)

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Herbert Bayer is forgotten by many, but he definitely is one of the most important designers/artists from last century. He studied at the Bauhaus and was at one time educated by Kandinsky and Klee.

In the spirit of reductive minimalism, Bayer developed a crisp visual style and adopted use of all-lowercase, sans serif typefaces for most Bauhaus publications.[3] Bayer is one of several typographers of the period including Kurt Schwitters and Jan Tschichold who experimented with the creation of a simplified more phonetic-based alphabet. From 1925 to 1930 Bayer designed a geometric sans-serif Proposal for a Universal Typeface[1] that existed only as a design and was never actually cast into real type.[4] These designs are now issued in digital form as Bayer Universal.[2] The design also inspired ITC Bauhaus and Architype Bayer, which bears comparison with the stylistically related typeface Architype Schwitters.

Then his life changed drastically. In 1944 Bayer married Joella Syrara Haweis, the daughter of poet and Dada artist Mina Loy. The same year, he became a U.S. citizen. The result….Many lost interest in the works by Bayer, he did some typography and made some fonts, but gained again some importance in collecting over 30.000 works of art for the ARCO company. Still Herbert Bayer is recognized again as one of the more important artists from the Bauhaus era and this means his works start to grow in importance again.

www.ftn-books.com has some Bayer titles available.

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Albert Gleizes (1881-1953)

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A misunderstanding from my part is that i always thought Gleizes to be a Suisse artist, but he isn’t, he is French and that places his works among other French Cubist artist to compare. So not Hodler was the greatest influence on his works, it is that what i thought to be true, but far more other contemporaries from the French art scene like Metzinger, Delaunay and Le Fauconier, who were his sparring partners in art. Self proclaimed founder of Cubism his works are among the best cubist works i know of and these art works build a bridge into the art of the Bauhaus that was more than interested in the ideas by Gleizes. Gleizes has not become the great name in art you should have expected, but became a “niche” artist, who received some special exhibitions in the Netherlands in the last few decades. Not the grand scale exhibitions you would expect with such an important artist. Maybe the future will bring the recognition Gleizes deserves but for the meantime you have only some nice exhibition catalogues which are available at www.ftn-books.com

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El Lissitzky (1890-1941)

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Here is an artist who’s works were very well known from the very first beginning of his career. Suprematism being one of the key collection parts of the Stedelijk Museum, El Lissitzky soon became part of this great and important collection. Because of this large collection part, an interest in his works was aroused from the very first beginning resulting in some purchases by important collectors and acquiring works by museum for their collections. Among them; Stedelijk Museum, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Boymans van Beuningen and the van Abbemuseum.

There is so much to be told about El Lissitzky as an artist because he was a true multi talented artist. A Painter, sculptor , architect and designer all within the same person. One aspect of his career i would like to mention specially. His graphic design.

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El Lissitzky is the 9th person from the left

During his stay in Germany Lissitzky also developed his career as a graphic designer with some historically important works such as the books Dlia Golossa (For the Voice), a collection of poems from Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Die Kunstismen (The Artisms) together with Jean Arp. In Berlin he also met and befriended many other artists, most notably Kurt Schwitters, László Moholy-Nagy, and Theo van Doesburg. Together with Schwitters and van Doesburg, Lissitzky presented the idea of an international artistic movement under the guidelines of constructivism while also working with Kurt Schwitters on the issue Nasci (Nature) of the periodical Merz, and continuing to illustrate children’s books. The year after the publication of his first Proun series in Moscow in 1921, Schwitters introduced Lissitzky to the Hanover gallery kestnergesellschaft, where he held his first solo exhibition. The second Proun series, printed in Hanover in 1923, was a success, utilizing new printing techniquesLater on, he met Sophie Küppers, who was the widow of Paul Küppers, an art director of the kestnergesellschaft at which Lissitzky was showing, and whom he would marry in 1927.

There are some really nice El Lissitzky publications available at www.ftn-books.com.

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László Moholy-Nagy ( 1895-1946)

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László Moholy-Nagy  born László Weisz; July 20, 1895 – November 24, 1946) was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as a professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.

This is how the Wikipedia article on László Moholy-Nagy begins. I know the art by him as complicated constructions of threads and pieces of metal, but it was not until some 15 years ago that i discovered a book on his “photograms” and it immediately fascinated me. It was the link between painting and photography, showing details of hands and objects turning them into abstract works of art.

With his photograms, such as Photogram with Eiffel Tower (1925-1929), Moholy-Nagy experimented with the abstract potential of a traditionally documentary medium. The artist’s photography was also distinguished by its abstract qualities achieved through his bold experimentation with perspective. Among Moholy-Nagy’s three-dimensional works, the best known is Light Prop for an Electric Stage (1930), a mechanical sculpture that used light as a material and cast shifting shadows on the walls around it.

Www.ftn-books.com has some very nice László Moholy-Nagy publications available

 

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Wilhelm Wagenfeld (1900-1900)

If only one object from the Bauhaus has reached an iconic standing in world design it is the Bauhaus lamp by Wilhelm Wagenfeld. It is still produced in its original dimension and materials and is one of the design classics from last century. It was such a success in interior design in the last 3 decades that many copies were produced and sold.

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The only original one is done by Tecnolumen, but for much less you can buy an excellent copy. But beside the lamp Wagenfeld designed many more items. teapots, cutlery, candle sticks, door knobs but all with one specific design element. The design had to be “clean”. No curls and no ornaments…just functional design. Wagenfeld was  a true master of this clean design and influence with his designs many of the 20th century designers, including some dutch designers like Kho Liang Ie and Martin Visser , who’s designs were simple and functional .

the Bauhaus Lamp is probably the most iconic piece of lighting to come out of the Bauhaus, William Wagenfeld’s lamp, constructed of precisely cut glass and metal, is among the first objects to emerge under the Bauhaus’ technology-focused regime.

This a description as it is found on the internet, but i would like to add something else…William Wagenfeld is probably the first designer who respected the material and functionality of an object and taught this to his students. It is not the lamp that is iconic, but for me it is the designer, who is the grand master and who designed/invented the iconic Bauhaus lamp. www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Wagenfeld ( also one by Sandberg).

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Paul Renner (1878-1956) and ….the FUTURA typeface

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If ever a typeface by Paul Renner is known to the large public it must be the Futura. A typical Art Deco type typeface which is nowadays a classic and easily can substitute the very popular Helvetica and is present aas a standard font on practically every computer. The Futura dates from 1927 when it was first launched by Paul Renner.

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On August 9, 1878, Paul Friedrich August Renner was born in Wernigerode which then was located in the Prussian state. His father was an evangelical theologian who is reason behind his strict Protestant upbringing. He grew up to develop a German sense of leadership, responsibility and duty. Renner received his formal education from a secondary school, Gymnasium. After nine years of learning Greek and Latin, Renner opted to study arts at several different academies. In 1926, he accepted the position of the head at the Printing Trade School in Münich. Later he established and became director of the Master School for Germany’s Printers. While studying, he grew suspicious of abstract art form and developed repulsion for some forms of modern culture including dancing, cinema and jazz.

However, Renner was equally fascinated by the functionalist strain in modernism. Therefore, it would not seem wrong to perceive Renner’s work as a bridge between nineteenth and twentieth century tradition. One example can be his successful attempt at merging two fundamentally different typefaces together such as Roman typeface and Gothic. Moreover, he was a significant member of German Work Federation. He lent his expertise in developing a new set of guidelines for good book design. He was closely associated with another noted typographer Jan Tschichold. They both became part of the ongoing heated ideological and artistic debates. Renner took a stand against Nazi movement and made his position very clear and public through his scandalous booklet, titled Kulturbolschewismus(Cultural Bolshevism). It was published in 1932 and overtly condemned Nazi’s cultural policy.

In 1933, when Nazi rose to power they dismissed Renner from his post at the school and labeled him an intellectual subversive, a ‘Cultural Bolshevist’. He went into a period of internal exile after his arrest. Renner aspired to communicate his opinion of culture and tried to influence it through his writing, teaching and designing. He utilized his intellect and aesthetic skills to alter the fundamental landscape of material and spiritual form of life. As to communicate his view of high cultural standards, he invested his creative talent in applied arts designing books and typefaces. Furthermore, being a voracious reader, Renner’s ideals were influenced by prominent scholarly figures, such as Nietzsche, Goethe, Kant and Schiller. He began writing from 1908 onwards and prolifically produced work on design and typography.

Renner’s notable works include Die Kunst der Typographie (The Art of Typography) and Typografie als Kunst (Typography as Art). In these works he set the guideline for sophisticated book designs. Additionally, he played a significant role in inventing the popular Futura. The modern typographers even in the present time used this geometric sans-serif font frequently. Another one of his creations, Architype Renner is evolved from his early experimental exploration of geometric letterforms. His Steile Futura typeface was later transformed into Tasse which came out posthumously. Paul Renner’s valuable contribution to graphic design and typography includes works, such as Das moderne Buch, Vom Geheimnis der Darstellung, Ordnung und Harmonie der Farben and typefaces Renner Antiqua and Ballade.

www.ftn-books.com has a great book on Renner available

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