Innovation, design, form and function. These are the pillars of the Bauhaus, a school founded in 1919 in Weimar Germany, giving birth to a form of modernism that incorporated all methods of making - from architecture and painting, to costume design and consumer products. In honor of the centennial of this profound movement, we have curated an array of original works from our collection that find their roots in the Bauhaus oeuvre.
Coming out of the Arts and Crafts movement, which sought to bring art into the everyday, the Bauhaus collapsed the world of art and design into a cohesive, and very much intertwined dialogue, the impact of which is still palpable today. This soon paved the way for future groundbreaking movements, such as Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism.
Artists such as Josef and Anni Albers, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee are just a few notable artists to emerge from the Bauhaus Era, fated to spread their influence far and wide at the close of the Bauhaus in 1933 due to the onset of WWII. In fact, our very own ’lost’ artist Gustav Friedmann is part of this legacy; a former student of the Bauhaus, he escaped to the U.S., and finally settled in San Francisco, where he continued his work in bold abstraction.
The essence of these pioneers and the philosophy of the Bauhaus has continued to inspire artists throughout the 20th century, including many of our ‘lost’ artists. Bold design, shape, form and selective use of color tie these pieces together. From the work of Calvin Anderson, infusing the canon of design, colorful shapes and collage in his 1950s advertising work, to Barbara Lewis’ 1970s exploration of the grid - using clean black lines, circles, and squares to create a net of optical abstraction, the Bauhaus influence is evident not only throughout this collection, but spans multiple decades and genres.