Opening. Renovated master house Kandinsky-Klee in Bauhaus-Dessau

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Master House Kandinsky/Klee. Ebertallee 69–71. 06846 Dessau-Roßlau. Germany


Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was born in Berlin, son and grandson of architects, whose influence led him to study architecture in Munich and Berlin. After completing his studies, he worked in Peter Behrens' practice, to later become independent. Between 1910 and 1915, he worked primarily on the rehabilitation and expansion of Fagus Factory in Alfeld. With its thin metal structures, large glazed surfaces, flat roofs and orthogonal forms, this work was a pioneer of modern architecture.

In addition, Gropius founded the famous Bauhaus School, a design school that taught students to use modern and innovative materials to create buildings, furniture and original and functional objects. He was in charge of it first in Weimar and then in Dessau, from 1919 to 1928.

From 1926, Gropius was intensely devoted to the design of housing blocks, which saw the solution to social and urban problems, inaddition to betting for the racionalization in the construction industry, which would allow to build faster and more economically.

Before the First World War, Gropius was already part of a movement of aesthetic renovation, represented by the Deutscher Werkbund, which aimed to unite art with industrial design.

After the war, Gropius, in his role as director of the Sächsischen Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) and Sächsischen Hochschule für bildene Kunst (Superior School of Fine Arts), decides to merge the two schools under the name of "Staatliches Bauhaus "combining their academic goals and adding an architecture section. The building constructed for the school itself is a symbol of the most representative ideas of the Bauhaus: "form follows function".

In 1934 Gropius was forced to leave Germany due to the Nazi agressions suffered by the Bauhaus and his own work. He lived and worked for three years in England moving to America later, where he was professor of architecture at the Harvard Design School. In 1946 The Architects Collaborative, Inc., a group of young architects known as TAC, of which he was responsible of the direction and trainig of the memebers for several years.

Walter Gropius died in Boston in 1969, at the age of 86 years old. His buildings reflect the style of the Bauhaus, with new materials used in their construction and giving them a modern look, unknown at that time. Smooth facades and clear lines, lack of unnecessary decorative elements. This architecture has made of him one of the key leaders of the so-called 'International Style' in architecture.


Kandinsky was born Moscow in 1866 into a comfortable and cultured family. He learnt German from his grandmother, and took lessons in piano, cello and drawing. In 1885, he began to study law at the Moscow faculty, going on to complete his thesis. But when he was just on the point of obtaining a teaching position, in 1895, he decided to break with his legal career and devote himself to art. He then went to Munich to learn painting, and very soon set up as a teacher himself by creating, with other Munich artists, the Phalanx art group. Through this association he met Gabriele Münter, a German-American artist, who was his companion until 1914. With her, he travelled throughout Europe and North Africa and then, in 1906, established himself in Paris for a year. At this time, his works consisted of small paintings, often landscapes in the impressionist style, like a travel logbook, which gained him the reputation of a dilettante in the Parisian milieu.

It was not until 1908, back in Germany, where he was living with Gabriele Münter in Murnau, that his real artistic career began. Although his favourite themes – landscapes, popular culture – remained the same, he treated them in an increasingly abstract manner with a growing autonomy of colours. In 1914, when war broke out, he left Munich to take refuge in Switzerland, then went to Moscow where he remained until 1921. There, he began to write a text, conceived as the companion piece to Concerning the Spiritual in Art, “On Materialism in Art”, which would not be published until 1926 as Point and line to plane. During this period, he painted little, favouring, for material reasons, drawing and works on paper. Then, as the new regime established itself, he devoted his attention to the creation of the country’s new artistic structures, such as the IZO, the state body responsible for fine arts.

Nevertheless, his situation, as much artistic as financial and political, had become precarious. During an official mission in 1921, he decided to remain in Germany with his wife Nina. Walter Gropius, director of the Bauhaus Movement, offered him a teaching position, which he would occupy up until the school’s closure in 1933 and his departure for France. At this time, his German nationality obtained in 1927 having been revoked, the stateless Kandinsky established himself in Paris. It was not until 1939 that he became a French citizen, in extremis before the start of the Second World War. Until 1944, the Kandinskys led a secluded life in Neuilly-sur-Seine, where the artist pursued his final research objectives.

Paul Klee

Paul Klee, (Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, December 18, 1879 - Muralto, Switzerland, June 29, 1940) was born in Münchenbuchsee, near Bern, Switzerland, in a family of musicians, German father and Swiss mother. His father was born in Tann and studied singing, piano, organ and violin at the Stuttgart Conservatory, where he met his future wife, Ida Frick. Hans Wilhelm Klee was active as a music teacher at the Berne State Seminary in Hofwil, near Bern, until 1931. Paul Klee developed his musical skills as his parents encouraged and inspired him until his death. In 1880, his family moved to Bern, where finally, in 1897, after several changes of residence, he moved to his own house in the district of Kirchenfeld.

From 1899 to 1906, Paul Klee studied in Munich, first of all at a private school run by Heinrich Knirr and then at the academy of art under Franz von Stuck. His first solo exhibition took place in Switzerland in 1910. In the ensuing years, Klee developed his contacts with the artists Alfred Kubin and Wassily Kandinsky and participated in the second Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) exhibition. In 1912, he travelled to Paris and met artists of the French avant-garde, including Robert Delaunay and Henri Le Fauconnier. In 1913, Klee exhibited at Herwarth Walden’s gallery Der Sturm in Berlin and at the Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon (first German autumn salon) in Berlin. Together with August Macke and Louis Moilliet, he travelled to Tunis and Kairouan. That same year, he became co-founder of the New Munich Secession. In 1919, he was signed by the Munich gallery owner Hans Goltzand and became a member of Munich’s visual arts council and its Aktionsausschuss Revolutionäre Künstler (action committee of revolutionary artists). In 1920, the gallery Goltz held the first large solo exhibition with more than 362 works by Klee.

In 1920, Walter Gropius appointed Klee to the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar. He became the director of the bookbinding workshop in 1921, of the metal workshop in 1922 and of the glass painting workshop from 1922–1923 to 1925. From 1921 to 1924–1925 in Weimar, Klee taught classes in elemental design theory as part of the preliminary course. The first Klee exhibition was organised in New York in 1924. That same year, Klee and the artists Alexej Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky and Lyonel Feininger co-founded the group Die Blauen Vier (The Blue Four). One year later, the Vavin-Raspail gallery in Paris organised the first French exhibition of Klee’s work. In 1925, Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook was the second volume in the series of Bauhaus Books published by the Bauhaus.

From 1925 to 1930, he taught elemental design theory in the preliminary course at the Bauhaus Dessau. From 1926–1927 to 1930, he was the director of free sculptural and artistic design. From 1927, he was head of the free painting workshop and classes. From 1927 to 1929–1930, he taught the theory of design in the weaving workshop. Klee left the Bauhaus on 1st April 1931.

After ending his teaching activities at the Bauhaus in 1931, he received a professorship at the Düsseldorf art academy, a post which he held until 1933. After the NSDAP seized power and classed Klee’s work as 'degenerate art', he was immediately fired. He returned to Switzerland the same year. In 1937, the Kunsthalle Bern held a retrospective of Klee’s oeuvre. Klee died after a long illness in 1940 in Muralto near Locarno.



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