03 January 2015

News
VKhUTEMAS.
Russian Bauhaus

Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

– 6 April 2015

berlinerfestspiele.de

 

Vkhutemas is often described as the Russian Bauhaus, and primarily refers to the legendary modern art school of the 1920s. The eponymous exhibition now reveals key works from Vkhutemas for the first time in Germany, with a particular emphasis on architecture. The exhibition incorporates about 250 sketches, drawings, paintings and models from teachers and students alike.



 

In 1920 the artistic workshops of Vkhutemas were established by a decree from the Soviet government and included eight faculties with production workshops for wood, metal, textiles, printmaking and ceramics, and art workshops for painting, sculpture and architecture. A total of more than 1,000 students were educated here. The institution’s alumni included famous artists and architects such as El Lissitzky, Naum Gabo, Gustav Klucis, Ljubow Popowa and Alexander Rodtschenko, whose names are all associated with the Russian avant garde.

 

The aim of the movement was to create a “new human” with the help of art and architecture, and thus set in motion the revolutionary renewal of the relationship between art and society. Within the school there were also discussions and arguments over the particular path to take. The works exhibited here therefore show not only the utopian and artistic and architectural potential of the artists, but also the different, mutually conflicting views involved. In 1930 the school closed, whereupon the Architecture Faculty merged with the Higher Civil Engineering and Architecture Institute, which would later become the Moscow Architecture Institute.

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