1

0

 

2

8

 

0

9

 

 

D

E

S

I

G

N

 

 

1

0

 

2

8

 

0

9

 

 

 

 

 

   


The Wassily Chair, image via MoMA

 

 

 


 

       

B O W - H O U S E !

 
 

Eye Candy
 for Aesthetes....

   

 

  

The chair as aesthetic object.  Marcel Breuer's Wassily Chair is a modernist classic -- strong horizontals and verticals make strange lyricism out of steel tubing and leather, an abstract composition made utilitarian.  Born in Hungary, Breuer studied art in Vienna, and later was both student and teacher from 1920 to 1928 at the Bauhaus (the famous art-school creative think-tank) in Germany.  While at the Bauhaus, Breuer often rode his Adler bicycle around campus.  Inspired by its tubular steel handlebars and advances in German manufacturing, he fashioned something sleek and inventive out of steel and fabric (now largely replaced by leather), a completely new take on the old familiar club chair.  This use of steel was in many ways revolutionary - and took the idea of furniture into the industrial age, leading the way into mass-production.

 

Founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 during the liberal Weimar Republic, the Bauhaus existed for a mere fourteen years before it was shut down by the Nazis, yet had a profound and lasting effect on architecture, art, and design.  Its aesthetic aim was to ally art with technology, to design for one's time, a movement towards clean lines, simple forms, a beautiful spareness.  And a dazzling array of artists and architects -- Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy -- helped shape this aesthetic.

 

The Wassily Chair is named for the painter Wassily Kandinsky who was an admirer of the chair and had been presented with one by Breuer.  Breuer has said that this chair was "my most extreme work…the least artistic, the most logical, the least 'cosy' and the most mechanical."  The Wassily is like some beautiful skeletal version of the overstuffed club chair -- leather bands that demarcate space, the sitter never quite actually touching metal when seated, the idea of reducing something to its simplest elements given form.  Eye candy for the aesthete!

 

 


Teapot, Marianne Brandt, image via MoMA

 

MoMA is celebrating Breuer and his colleagues in Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity  beginning November 8.  It's a grand opportunity for design aficionados to view everything from Breuer's furniture to the famous Marianne Brandt teapot that sold for $361,000 at Sotheby's!  Also, mark your calendars for the associated free hands-on design workshops being offered at Bauhaus Lab.

 

 

See: Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity

 

Learn: Bauhaus Lab 

 

Buy: Wassily Chair 

 

Buy: The cheap-chic budget friendly Wassily knockoff at Target 

 

Permalink   Save to del.icio.us    Digg This!


 


 

 


BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK!

 

 

 

     

Subscribe About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Editorial Policy  

Unsubscribe  Press Archives Search

 

 

 

©2009 eCognoscente