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László Moholy-Nagy, American (born Austria-Hungary), 1895–1946; “G. SMIRG”, 1923; watercolor and collage on sandpaper; 9 x 11 11/16 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Bequest of Horace M. Swope, by exchange, and Museum Purchase 67:1969

ST. LOUIS, June 25, 2019—The Saint Louis Art Museum will commemorate the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus with an installation featuring highlights from among the museum’s collection of Bauhaus objects. The works in this installation show the strengths of many of the leaders and teachers from the Bauhaus school, such as Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.

“The Bauhaus and its Legacy” will be on view in Gallery 250 starting June 28. The installation, as well as a related video installation in Gallery 301, will be on view through Oct. 20.

Established in Germany in 1919, the Bauhaus was one of the 20th century’s most influential schools of art, architecture and design. It moved between the cities of Weimar, Dessau and Berlin before the Nazi government closed it in 1933. The Bauhaus embraced a unity of art and design, and it espoused a radical visual language based on abstraction, color theory and technical innovations in material. As evidenced by the diverse objects on view in the museum’s installation, the Bauhaus was a fertile site for experimentation across media and disciplines.

Works in “The Bauhaus and its Legacy” range from furniture, metalwork, ceramics and textiles to paintings, prints and photographs. After the forced closure of the Bauhaus, several prominent members fled Germany for the United States and elsewhere, where they continued their innovative teaching and artistic practices. Works by these artists and subsequent generations of their students are shown alongside original Bauhaus material. Although the Bauhaus only operated as a school for 14 years, its guiding principles continue to influence art and design today. This legacy is explored in the installation with works by contemporary artists such as Ben Thorp Brown and Gerhard Richter, whose works reveal their abiding interest in Bauhaus themes and aesthetics.

Shown in conjunction with “The Bauhaus and its Legacy,” the museum is presenting a video of the 1970 television staging of “The Triadic Ballet” in Gallery 301. Bauhaus artist and teacher Oskar Schlemmer choreographed and designed the influential performance in the 1920s. Divided into three acts—each themed around a distinct color—the ballet celebrates the emerging industrial era of the Weimar Republic with rigid, geometric costumes and mechanical choreography. In the 1970 screening, the original choreography and costume design are presented using post-World War II innovations in color broadcasting, a pioneering practice consistent with much earlier tenets championed by Bauhaus artists.

“The Bauhaus and its Legacy” is curated by Genevieve Cortinovis, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts and Design; Hannah Klemm, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art; and Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs; with Molly Moog, research assistant.

CONTACT: Matthew Hathaway, 314.655.5493, matthew.hathaway@slam.org

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