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10 thoughts on “The Bauhaus Group

  1. Bill Bill says:

    Sadly this book was a horrible read and I couldn't even finish it I got about 300 pages in and decided that I just couldn't take any Its only saving grace is the extremely interesting subject matter but if you are interested in learning about the Bauhaus school I would turn else where The book is set up as a series of biographies of 6 artists Gropius Klee Kandinsky Josef and Anni Albers and van der Rohe The biographies are each written in a different style based on the subject but overall the writing is very scattered and doesn't seem to connect into a larger view of the Bauhaus I learned very little about either the Bauhaus or the subjects he profiled The only positive aspect of this book is that it has encouraged me to read about the Bauhaus in other places Not recommended


  2. Patrick Sprunger Patrick Sprunger says:

    Nicholas Fox Weber personally spent a lot of time with the Alberses Josef and Anni acted as executor of Anni Albers's estate observed the couple's eccentric experience with American consumer culture and mitigated their sometimes petulant attitude toward other people There probably isn't a better American suited to compile a few short biographies of some of the core Bauhauslers because few Americans probably understand the nuance and inconsistency within the Bauhaus itselfMr Weber's approach is very intuitive He employs different styles depending on his subject His description of Walther Gropius is gossipy and political because Gropius revolved in a fast orbit of high drama and was the cementing force behind the Bauhaus Ludwig Mies van der Rohe receives similar treatment the style is as apt for studying titans of finance or industry as titans of architecture By contrast Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky are treated like dalai lamas or suffering saints Anni Albers's portrait is complex and personal and Josef Albers's brain is explained than the man Explaining how an ordinary working class origin complemented visionary attitudes about color and proportion is the best way to summarize the Bauhaus itself Had Weber arranged his anthology in this order it would flow with a sensible rhythm Instead he grows increasingly anachronistic as the book progresses almost like he's trying to channel the progression of the artist's disease Anni Albers' narrative is a blink comparitor toggling between Nazi Germany and the gluttonous art society of 1980s New York Somehow in the process readers manage to get a comprehensive sense of the Bauhaus So I suppose cheers are in orderThe uestion is whether such an eccentric approach isn't a sort of irony Weber took the single most inefficient route toward informing his readers literally the polar opposite of the way Klee or the Alberses would bring their viewers to enlightenment The Bauhaus Group is tedious at times; it is indecisive about whether it wants to talk about the artists' ideas social impact or history In nearly 500 pages of narrative there is room to cover all of that if an author truly wanted to The somewhat intangible objection of the Nazi party to the Bauhaus is a fascinating uestion and the reader has to find his own conclusion because the conclusion is not to be found in the book I'm out of step with the world of art history It was neither my major nor minor in college and I had only a few upper level classes mostly concerning contemporary art after 1945 The Bauhaus Group may be de rigueur among the art history genre I recall my art history professors' rather murky understanding of actual non art history Maybe the culture of the discipline is one that can't be bothered with the petty business of understanding how a thing fits in a larger matrix If so perhaps the peculiar editorial processes Mr Weber has chosen do not constitute failure However a casual reader will find inherent challenges with The Bauhaus Group; it doesn't conform to the style of other history and nonfiction monographs I'm glad I read it but I'm also glad I'm done reading it


  3. Carol Carol says:

    Not always the best writing but Fox Weber was friends with two Bauhaslers as they were called Josef Albers and Anni Albers His involvement in Anni Albers story provides an interesting female perspective on the famous German design school although she would probably swat at me for saying that


  4. Margaret Margaret says:

    Sometimes his preference for AA stands through a bit too much but great insight into the characters of bauhaus


  5. Dagmar Cunningham Dagmar Cunningham says:

    Anyone interested in the origins of modern art and architecture should read this Since the author was personal friends with Bauhaus artists Albers the impressions are direct


  6. Bruce Genaro Bruce Genaro says:

    In The Bauhaus Group Six Masters of Modernism art historian Nicholas Fox Weber has written a timely a Museum of Modern Art MOMA exhibition “Bauhaus 1919 1933 Workshops for Modernity” a Guggenheim retrospective “Kandinsky and the 90th anniversary “group” biography of the six key individualsinstructors at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau Germany Weber befriended the Albers in the 1970’s and mined that relationship for intimate details about the Bauhaus’s major players including themselves Josef Albers painter and master colorist Anni Albers textile artist Walter Gropius architect Paul Klee painter Wassily Kandinsky painter and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe architect Their reminiscences and personal anecdotes provide a uniue insight into the lives of these dynamic creative individuals The influence of the Bauhaus is nothing short of astounding That a small school for the arts with only a handful of teachers could have such an impact on the world art architecture textiles furniture typographythe list is endless almost a century later is unparalleled The Bauhaus’ legacy is even remarkable considering it operated for a mere fourteen years Founded in 1919 and closed by the Nazis in 1933 the Bauhaus though it no longer exists as a school continues to exist as a state of mind as evidenced by such modern mantras as “less is ” and “form follows function” Weber makes the material accessible by limiting the jargon and by including numerous illustrations of both the art and the artists Filled with insights into their guiding principles as well as juicy tidbits about their private lives this book is an excellent primer for anyone interested in the arts modernism and living a creative life


  7. Liam Liam says:

    'We prefer good machinery to bad art' uoting Josef Albers xiiiThe muddiness created by governments could be tempered by the luster of polished chrome The emotional anxieties generated by militarism and inflation formed a compost that nourished a passion for a stability derived from visual harmony 33'The horrifying this world becomes as it is these days the art becomes abstract; while a world a peace produces realistic art' uoting Paul Klee 107'Color is the keyboard The eye is the hammer while the soul is a piano of many strings' uoting Wassily Kandinsky 215Most people by a considerable margin came up with the same response The circle was blue the triangle yellow and the suare red Those results satisfied Kandinsky immensely for they concurred with his premise that 'the circle is cosmic absorbent feminine soft; the suare is masculine' and the triangle with its acute angles intrinsically yellow Kandinsky's uiz 225'When I walk along the street and each person looks at me to see whether I'm a Jew or a Christian I can't very well tell each of them that I'm the one that Kandinsky and some other make an exception of uoting Arnold Schoenberg 229When Gropius was extolling the merits of group efforts and collaborative architecture Mies asked 'Gropius If you decide to have a baby do you call in the neighbors?' uoting Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 452


  8. Pollopicu Pollopicu says:

    Not as exciting as I anticipated I expected the story of The Bauhaus Group to be as riveting as Peggy Guggenheims Art Lover or Frederick Kaisler's Art of this Century instead it was excruciatingly boring I did however enjoy reading about Gropius Klee and Kandisnky's lives but somehow I knew that once the author got to the Albers' life the gossip wouldn't be as juicy since most of the recollections came from Annie Albers and Josef themselves and they were married for over 50 years I've had an interest in learning about the Bauhaus group for uite some time but I can't say I learned much about the movement or it's aim from reading this book I think Weber might have even turned me off to the movement entirely I give it only two stars


  9. Canfield Canfield says:

    Great subject lots of flaccid gossip but he can't write The book has all the earmarks of a word processor on steroids too much trivia without clear story line jumping around in different places and timesVery interesting moments but Edit it and enough about the author and his personal life with the Albers Isn't that a separate book ? How could he write this book after finishing his Corbu book only a year earlier ??? Slow done and get some flow pictures that are on the same page with the over analyzations What did i learn ?Paul Klee is god and Walter Gropius designed 2 most important buildings The Fagus factory and the Bauhaus building in Dessau


  10. Carol Carol says:

    Love Bauhaus and this book was great Always thought Joseph Albes was a genius Now I know that so was his wife Anni Very personal stories Also bios on Walter Gropius Paul Klee Wassily Kandisky and Ludwig Mies van deer Rohe


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The Bauhaus Group Nicholas Fox Weber for thirty three years head of the Albers Foundation spent many years with Anni and Josef Albers the only husband and wife artistic pair at the Bauhaus she was a textile artist; he a professor and an artist in glass metal wood and photography The Alberses told him their own stories and described life at the Bauhaus with their fellow artists and teachers Walter Gropius Paul Klee Wassily Kandinsky Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as well these figures’ lesser known wives and girlfriends In this extraordinary group biography Weber brilliantly brings to life the Bauhaus geniuses and the community of the pioneering art school in Germany’s Weimar and Dessau in the 1920s and early 1930sHere are Walter Gropius founder of the Bauhaus the architect who streamlined design early in his career and who saw the school as a place for designers to collaborate in an ideal setting a dashing hussar the ardent young lover of the renowned femme fatale Alma Mahler beginning when she was the wife of composer Gustav Mahler Paul Klee the onlooker smoking his pipe observing Bauhaus dances as well as his colleagues’ lectures from the back of the room the cook who invented recipes and threw together his limited ingredients with the same spontaneity sense of proportion and fascination that underscored his paintings Wassily Kandinsky the Russian born pioneer of abstract painting guarding a secret tragedy one could never have guessed from his lively paintings in which he used bold colors not just for their visual vibrancy but for their “sound” effects Josef Albers who entered the Bauhaus as a student in 1920 and was one of the seven remaining faculty members when the school was closed by the Gestapo in 1933 Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann a Berlin heiress an intrepid young woman who later as Anni Albers made art the focal point of her existence Ludwig Mies van der Rohe imperious decisive often harsh an architect who became director—the last—of the Bauhaus and the person who guided the school’s final days after SS storm troopers raided the premisesWeber captures the life spirit and flair with which these geniuses lived as well as their consuming goal of making art and architecture A portrait infused with their fulsome embrace of life their gift for laughter and the powerful force of their individual artistic personalities