Friday, May 27, 2011

Herbert Bayer the expressionist

Above left: Leaning Spiral Tower
Herbert Bayer
Welded COR-TEN® Steel
photograph by versluis, 2008.

This sculptural piece by Herbert Bayer was displayed at the Peyton Wright Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico (2008) and suggests characteristics of monuments designed by Tatlin and Gropius. To the right of Bayer’s “Tower” is the maquette of the Monument to the Third International (1920, unbuilt) by Vladimir Tatlin. Located underneath are pictures (elevation and plan) of the Monument to the Fallen of the March Insurrection (1920-21) designed by Walter Gropius.

Wolfgang Pehnt provides an interesting perspective about the expressive impact of the strong upward and oblique movement in an article titled Gropius the Romantic:

… In March, 1920, during the Kapp putsch which attempted to topple the Reich government, a number of workers had been killed in Weimar. Students of the Bauhaus had taken part in burying the victims and so incurred the displeasure of their director who feared political complications. Gropius, however, did enter the competition for the “Memorial of the Victorious Proletariat.” … this architectonic sculpture demonstrates how completely at home Gropius was with the formal ideas of Expressionism. Its form thrusts in a single direction that forces the observer to consider implications that derive from more than its actual substance: it cuts a rift in space. … [likewise] in Tatlin’s design, also made in 1920, for a monument commemorating the Third International, … [the] diagonal movement [is] similarly exploited for dynamic effect. …[1]
  1. Pehnt, Wolfgang. Gropius the Romantic. Trans. Renate F. Franciscono. The Art Bulletin 53.3 Sept. (1971): 386-87. Print.

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