L'Esprit du Bauhaus

Art, Architecture
4 out of 5 stars
© Bauhaus-Archiv BerlinErich Consemüller, Scène du Bauhaus : inconnue au masque dans un fauteuil tubulaire de Marcel Breuer portant un masque de Oskar Schlemmer. Photographie, 1926
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image of the MMA / A.D.A.G.P. 2016Marianne Brandt, Théière et passe-thé, argent et ébène, vers 1924
© Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, Jean Tholance Installation, cuir laiton propylène, Muller Van Severen, 2012

An immersive trip back in time to the Bauhaus era at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Committed to recreating the ‘spirit’ of the Bauhaus era, new exhibition ‘L’Esprit du Bauhaus’ at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs explores the creativity and multidisciplinary nature of the movement. Dense and immersive, the exhibit takes us from studio to studio as we discover the work of the Bauhaus’ students and the immense range of their chosen materials. Textiles, glass, metal, painting, porcelain, wood – the list is expansive, giving us an idea as to the distinct creativity at the heart of the German art school.

On the wall anonymous works (sketches, lithography, tapestries etc.) rub shoulders with the work of Bauhaus professor Vassily Kandinsky, demonstrating an equality between the school’s artists – student and teacher. We’d have loved to have been a fly on the Bauhaus school walls: photographs show the intense creative life of the students, non-stop parties and carnivals fuelling their passion and encouraging them to produce new work, décor, costumes, even posters. 

One small complaint: although the Bauhaus school existed in a very particular historical context – that of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazism – the exhibition makes noticeably few references to this fact. And while the Bauhaus’ heritage is explored in the final rooms of the exhibit through contemporary works inspired by the school’s spirit, their playful, simple style lacks the appropriate gravity for such an important moment in art history.


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