5 Facts To Understand The Artistic Movement That Defined Modernity
January 11, 2018|Sara Araujo
Learn more about the Bauhaus movement and how it changed the way artists create nowadays.
Have you ever seen those paintings that are basically a lot of geometrical figures and colorful backgrounds? Lines, dots, and maybe even some body part or animal lying around? I know, it sounds very creepy when I describe it that way. However, this artform is anything but disturbing. It’s a very sublime form of expression. Those artworks are the stepping stones to what we know today as Modern Art. This particular art movement is called Bauhaus, and as complex or weird as it may come across, it is a very important form of expression that you should know about. So if you’re still feeling confused about these artworks, check out the basic facts about Bauhaus and why it became so popular.
Paul Klee, Landscape with Yellow Birds (1923)
The movement's name comes from a German word that means “house of building.” The Bauhaus movement per se was inspired by an art school that was founded in 1919 in Weimar (Germany) by architect Walter Gropius. His goal was to reunite applied arts and crafting disciplines to transform the way people were educated at the time. This philosophy transcended in such way that art movements like Bauhaus were born. While this artistic movement began in the 1920s, many of its founder's ideals are still relevant for today's artists (so if any of this sounds familiar, now you know why).
Paul Klee, Fire at Full Moon (1933)
What does this art form aim for?
The Bauhaus movement focuses on the manufacturing process of art. Its purpose was to reunite creativity and crafting in order to restore the artist's approach to design. This particular art movement sees art as an experiment to solve social problems, proving to be strongly influential on educational matters.
What inspired this movement?
Ironically, the strongest influences for the Bauhaus movement weren’t German. The cultural innovation that came after the Russian Revolution gave birth to new ways of thinking and creating. Idealism, constructivism, and avant-garde tendencies encouraged people like Gropius to come up with a new way of expression. Contemporary English designers were also developing a new perspective on form and functionality, which later became a fundamental basis for the Bauhaus movement.
Wassily Kandinsky, Shallow Deep (1930)
Craftsmanship is everything.
The Bauhaus movement was one of the first art forms to bring the importance of craftsmanship back to the artistic world. According to Gropius, artists and artisans were the same thing. He wanted to get rid of the idea that craftsmen were on a lower range than artists. In the Bauhaus Institution, one the most important lessons was the development of acute crafting skills in order to create ideal works of art.
The Bauhaus Manifesto.
Among the Bauhaus movement statements, there were three basic principles that showed how this art form was practiced. First, keeping things simple and effective. While creating works, they encouraged the lack of unnecessary details. They thought any element that intervened with the esthetics of a work had to be removed. Second, the Bauhaus movement was about innovation. Gropius suggested that all artisans should constantly look for new techniques, material, and creative processes to keep their art relevant. Finally, "economical thinking" was necessary to create functional artworks. In other words, the correct use of space and resources made the process more effective and straightforward.
Paul Klee, Strong Dream (1929)
Bauhaus art in much more than just colorful and simple paintings. It’s about a mindset, a way of creating, an artistic philosophy that heavily influenced a lot of modern and contemporary artists and invited them to break standards. Without the simplicity, abstraction, and innovation of this current, modern art wouldn't be as subversive as it is.
You may also be interested in reading about: