ART 341:History of the Bauhaus
Title: “This Chair is a work of Art”
Title is a quote that refers to the advertising slogan of Knoll International. Sets up discussion about respecting the original designer’s intentions and leaving objects of mass production as objects of mass production.
Author: Gerda Breuer
Retired art and design history professor of the university of Wuppertal.
Historical information on how Breuer’s chair was turned into art object instead of original intention of mass production.
Thesis statement: “This chair is a work of art” surrounded by information that challenges validity. Uses negative space around statement to make argument that statement is false. Namely that Marcel Breuer and Le Corbusier’s intentions were disregarded.
The Intentions of Le Corbusier and Marcel Breuer:
Furniture had Art Deco/ The Moderm aesthetic
Not the Bauhaus, Bauhaus aesthetics: concept of big-city life.
Saw the psycho-architectural/interiors connection, rationalist form used for influence of people
Design were for body,soul, and all senses/body?
Saw design as equipment/like clinic for relaxation
1924 became master, followed what Gropius thought
Chais is for mass production
Industry was for manufacturing even if handwork was involved
Quote by Laszlo Moholy Nagy
1930 parisian exhibition
From simple furniture to design object
History of the “Wassily” chair 1962
Licensing agreements of Wassily chair and Cesca chair
The exporting of Italian design through Bauhaus designs
The design object has personality not rational fuction
From Design object to cultural object
The opening of Duchamp museum in 1963 by Dino Gavina
The conversion of the everyday object to art object by Marcel Duchamp in 1913-20
Duchamp in Italy with pop art in 1964
The ready made as art in early 60’s and Gavina’s strategy to uplift meaning of Italian furniture at that time by reinterpreting gropius’s words “art and technology a new unity:
Multiples and ready made examples
Reiteration of gavina ignoring boundries of art and design, design gaine part of art and art a part of design
Art and technology a new unity
Art is magic and has belief structure like that of religions
Design new form consecrated works.
Definition of Consecration of design: an opposite effect that is described as endlessly making new products. That is a product that can sell and sells for a long time irregardless of fashion
Definition of “timeless” classic furniture design: furniture with long-term attractiveness
The creation of the design object by Italy. The design object is status object. Made cheap but sold expensively due to hype/overabundance of meaning.
“The Best way to predict the future is to create it”-references postmodern management ethos
Introduction of theory that due to ethos of title, the emergence of classic 1920’s furniture was and continues to be plagiarized.
Intro of idea that historical data disappears due to overabundance of Italian ads.
Due to copying and over-meaning attached, improvements and beneficial changes go unregistered
History of copies of modernist furniture
Due to transfer in licences
From thirties to sixties
Close replicas but not exact
Name different examples of material replacement
Introduction of idea of cessation of innovation in favor of reflection of design
Make seasonal modifications-Alfonso bialetti,Gio Ponti
Still done to this day
If idea is implemented a zig zag thought pattern will emerge
Mass produced item to art and back to mass produced item
Name fact that to be distinguished one must use handcraft to succeed.
The intention of steel furniture
Make up for inequities in society
Intention was strong but failed as only educated,wealthy,and elite class responded to design.
Irregardless original intention is still present within work
Introduction of process of plagiarized versions of 20’s design and its internet visibility.
-lots of handcraft in mass production
Mass production even if hand crafted is still mass production
Paradox is that plagerized items let those who want a classic to received furniture at cheaper prize. The many get a chance to receive well designed furniture.
End with German Poet’s confusing quote:
Murphy’s law, because of poor common intuition.
ART 341:History of the Bauhaus