Mark Lamster | Essays

From Bauhaus to My House


Nearly thirty years ago, Tom Wolfe made quite a splash with his reactionary little attack on modern architecture, From Bauhaus to Our House, his premise being that radical modernism imported from Germany had reduced American building to an impersonal frigidity. It was a dubious argument then, and a new show at MoMA demonstrates surely that it is flat out ridiculous. "Bauhaus: 1919-1933," curated by Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman, surveys the Dessau school's history; if you think of the Bauhaus as a sterile, dogmatic place, you will surely be stunned by the scope of work done there, and inspired by its humanity. All the favorites are here: Albers, Gropius, Mies, Klee, Breuer, Feininger. But there are many voices that will be unfamiliar, too, and working in all disciplines—photography, textiles, architecture, typography, graphic design, product design, etc. Walk through the show and it's impossible not to point at objects and think "Want Want Want." An Albers lounge chair? Want. A Bayer poster? Want. A very Diebenkorn-y Klee? Want. Don't miss it.

Posted in: Arts + Culture, Media

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