Bauhaus: A Failed Utopia?

Morgan Meis in The Easel:

There is no concise answer to the question ‘what is Bauhaus?’ First it was a school with a specific curriculum in art and design. Later, it became a style and a movement and a look (geometric, elegant, spare, modern) that could be found to greater and lesser degrees in art, craft and architecture all over the world. But in retrospect, I think it is fair to say that Bauhaus was always an attempt to fuse the craft and aesthetic ideas of a pre-modern age with the realities of 20th century industry and technology. Bauhaus wanted to find out how materials like concrete and steel and glass could be beautiful and could be shaped and designed in such a way as to serve the aesthetic needs of humankind. In this, Bauhaus was very much in the spirit of the movements that preceded it, like Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau. But Bauhaus went further than any of those movements in its embrace of what we now think of as the Modern with a big ‘M’. Some would say it went too far.

The history of Bauhaus is the history of this debate – what is the proper relationship of art and design to industry and technology?

More here.

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