The Bauhaus has been a great influence, on first my architecture and then my art. This month marks the centennial of its founding; a good time to revisit it’s influence over the last century.
Barry Bergdoll, professor of art history at Columbia University and chief curator of architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, opinions in an editorial in the New York Times, that the legacy of the Bauhaus has been turned into a kind of a trademark slogan; turned into style and fashion. The legacy of the Bauhaus has much more complexity, and as often been misunderstood, as Bergdoll so intelligently considers.
At its worst, Bauhaus has been reduced to mere style, a superficial sensibility informing labels, brands and fashion. Gropius and his acolytes recognized and deplored the idea, claiming that their designs arose from a pure functionalist embrace of modern materials, and in response to the demands of modern living — nothing more. “No Bauhaus Style and No Bauhaus Fashion,” a writer warned in the pages of the house organ, also calledBauhaus. “Such facile stylistic labeling of the modern must be emphatically rejected.”