Lilly Reich in Re-enactment by Laura Martínez de Guereñu

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Laura Martínez de Guereñu
Pabellón Mies van der Rohe. Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 7. Barcelona, España.
From March 6 to 22, 2020. Hours.- Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Lilly Reich (b. Berlin, Germany, 16 June 1885 - d. Berlin, Germany, 14 December 1947). In 1908 she moved to Vienna, where she worked at the Wiener Werkstätte, an association of artists, architects and designers who prusued the integration of all the arts in a common project, without distinction between major and minor arts, after training to become an industrial embroiderer, Lilly Reich began working briefly at the Viennese studio of architect, Josef Hoffmann. In 1911, she returned to Berlin and met Anna and Hermann Muthesius.

In 1912, she became a member of the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation, an association founded in 1907 formed by industrialists, architects and artists that defined the German industrial design). In 1920, she became the first female member of its board of directors. She was also a member of the Freie Gruppe für Farbkunst (independent group for colour art) in the same organisation.

In 1914, she collaborated on the interior design of the Haus der Frau (woman’s house) at the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Cologne. She managed a studio for interior design, decorative art and fashion in Berlin until 1924. In the same year, she travelled to England and Holland with Ferdinand Kramer to view modern housing estates. Until 1926, she managed a studio for exhibition design and fashion in Frankfurt am Main and worked in the Frankfurt trade fair office as an exhibition designer.

Reich met Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1926 and collaborated closely with him on the design of a flat and other projects for the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition held in Stuttgart in 1928. In 1927, she moved into her own studio and apartment in Berlin. In mid-1928, Mies van der Rohe and Reich were appointed as artistic directors of the German section of the 1929 World Exhibition in Barcelona, probably owing to their successful collaboration on the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart. In late 1928, Mies van der Rohe began to work on the design for the Tugendhat House in the Czech town of Brno. This was completed in 1930 and, alongside the Barcelona Pavilion, it is considered to be a masterpiece of modern architecture. The interior design for Tugendhat House was created in collaboration with Lilly Reich.

In 1932, Lilly Reich played an important role at the Bauhaus in Dessau and Berlin. In January 1932, the third Bauhaus director, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, appointed her as the director of the building/finishing department and the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus Dessau. She also continued to serve in this capacity at the Bauhaus Berlin, where she worked until December 1932.

In 1934, Reich collaborated on the design of the exhibition Deutsches Volk – Deutsche Arbeit (German people – German work) in Berlin. In 1937, Reich and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe were commissioned to design the German Reich exhibition of the German textile and clothing industry in Berlin. This was subsequently displayed in the textile industry section of the German Pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition of 1937. In 1939, she travelled to Chicago and visited Mies van der Rohe there. Following her return to Germany, Reich was conscripted to the military engineering group Organisation Todt (OT). After the war (1945/46), she taught interior design and building theory at Berlin University of the Arts. Reich ran a studio for architecture, design, textiles and fashion in Berlin until her death in 1947.

Laura Martínez de Guereñu

Laura Martínez de Guereñu Elorza (Gipuzkoa, 1973) is an architect, historian and critic, specialized in Europe and its relationship with the transatlantic world during the 19th and 20th centuries. Her research is focused on issues such as the search for traces of modernity in pre-fascist Europe and its diaspora, the impact of pedagogical legacies on built heritage, as well as the effect of the change of ownership in the life and resilience of buildings.

Her research has been supported by many scholarships, including the Leonardo Scholarship for Researchers and Cultural Creators of the BBVA Foundation, several grants for archive research from the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, an Artist Residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, as well as a Scholarship of Excellence of the Rafael del Pino Foundation.

Guereñu is a Master in Design Studies with Distinction for Harvard University, where he stayed for two years as a Visiting Fellow, and architect with an Extraordinary Prize and Doctor of Architecture from the University of Navarra. She is a lecturer at the IE School of Architecture and Design.

Wolf Tegethoff

Wolf Tegethoff (1953) is a German art historian, expert in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and, at present, along with Ulrich Pfisterer, director of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich. Tegethoff studied history of art, urban design, economic history and social history at the University of Bonn and at the University of Columbia, New York. He completed his Ph.D. about Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1981. He was assistant professor at the Kunsthistorisches Institute of the University of Kiel and since 1991 he is director of Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich. He has been visiting professor at the universities of Bonn, Haifa and Venice. In 2000 he was appointed professor of art history at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.

Christiane Lange

Christiane Lange is an art historian, member of the German Research Foundation - Project “Catalog Raisonné of furniture and furniture design by Mies van der Rohe”. Lange is a founding member and chairwoman of “Projekt MIK e. V. ,” Krefeld, Germany. Her research, exhibitions and movies focus in the last years on the European work of Mies van der Rohe, Lilly Reich and Bauhaus. 2007 she curated the first show on the collaboration of Mies and Reich. 2013 she realised the live size model after a design of Mies van der Rohe MIES 1:1 The Golfclub Project with Robbrecht en Daem architecten. She is actually finishing a research project on the close collaboration of Bauhaus members and the German silk industry and preparing an exhibition and documentary film on the same subject as contribution to the national event Bauhaus 100 in 2019.



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