Bauhaus at 100

A trip to Germany with the Davis Museum of Art at Wellesley College included a tour of the Bauhaus in Dessau. It was an opportunity to see, in person, this important icon of 20th century architecture and design.

A (very) brief history. In 1919, one hundred years ago, Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany. The design aesthetic was lean and spare. It would influence modern design for years to come, 100 for sure. The Bauhaus was a school where designers, architects, painters, sculptors and craftsmen taught and built items. Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky worked there.

Nazi interference in 1924 made Gropius move the school to Dessau, a city southwest of Berlin. There, he built a campus consisting of the main building, a director’s house and three masters’ houses.

I’ve tried to capture some of the Bauhaus aesthetic like the exterior glass curtain-wall of the main building.

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus-Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Construction details and color are all strikingly modern.

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

 

Furniture was constructed with tubular arms and legs. Door pulls were simple and unadorned.

Bauhaus – Main Building Auditorium Seats

Bauhaus – Main Building Door Detail

 

Rain-washed cement sidewalks seemed compatible with the tiny balconies.

Bauhaus – Main Building Balconies

 

The director’s house is a freestanding building. There are also three identical semi-detached houses for the masters. They are white stucco cubic structures designed by Gropius. They are modular with mirrored and rotated floor plans for variety. In the unadorned rooms light from windows, high and low, plays along the walls giving them an almost abstract quality as they intersect one another.

 

Master’s House

Master’s House

Master’s House

Master’s House

Master’s House

 

We take for granted much of what Gropius and his followers did to change the nature of design and architecture. What will the next hundred years look like?

 

 

The Haiku Project Continues

Seven seemed like a good number for the Haiku Collage series. At least for the time being. Before moving on to something else I thought I would publish a blog with the collages completed since the first few described in “The Haiku Project” – December 2018.

If you remember, the project grew out of a desire to combine, as collage, my cut up prints and found paper with stenciled and cut paper words from haiku poems sent to me by friends. The collage was assembled on marbled paper that I made using the suminagashi technique (Japanese). To refresh your memory about the process of layering in making the collage go to December 2018 in the Archives at the side of the blog.

Here are the new haikus, each followed by the completed collage.

# 1349 Alice’s Haiku

In the library

For fifteen minutes or less

No charge for parking

Alice’s Haiku

Alice’s Haiku – detail

# 1350 Faye’s Haiku

Butterflies in flight

Light as air like free spirits

Spreading joy to all

Faye’s Haiku

Faye’s Haiku – detail

# 1351 Todd’s Haiku

The open dog park

Never the same love again

Without your loved ones

Todd’s Haiku

Todd’s Haiku – detail

# 1352 Kathleen’s Haiku

Realization

Comfort comes in many forms

Sit back let it in

Kathleen’s Haiku

If Walls Could Talk

On an art-focused trip to Germany with the Davis Museum at Wellesley College we visited the Boros Collection (known as Sammlung Boros) in Berlin. From 1990 to the present Christian Boros and his wife have amassed a large collection of contemporary art, including site-specific works. The art is housed in a converted bunker, which was originally built as an air raid shelter for civilians in 1942. It had many uses until purchased by Boros in 2003. It opened to the public in 2008 and is available for small group tours, which must be booked in advance.

As I went from room to room looking at the art on display my eyes wandered over the spaces themselves. I was drawn to the marks and writing on the walls, floors and ceilings. Here and there were remnants of color on mostly drab beige or gray walls. Large swaths of peeling color remained on some walls. There were arrows pointing in different directions and cautionary words. Doors, scraped and scratched, seemed foreboding, revealing spaces beyond. Some walls had things attached purpose unknown.

How many people stayed in these “rooms?” For how long? What would we hear if “walls could talk?”

Here is a selection of photos, in no particular order, from my wandering eyes.

 

 

 

The Haiku Project

In a previous blog, “S” Is For Suminagashi, I described suminagashi as follows:

“Suminagashi is a Japanese marbling technique using special pigment inks. These inks are gently tapped on the surface of water in a tray with fine brushes. The movement of the water and my intervention moves the inks around creating swirls and ripples. The inks are intense but they appear pale and indistinct floating on the water. The magic occurs when the paper is laid on the water and lifted off. The marbled pattern appears!”

Suminagashi literally means “ink-floating.”

I wrote about how I used the marbled paper I made as the basis for collage, recycling pieces of prints (mine) and found paper to create a design where line, shape, color and texture work in tandem with the ebb and flow of the marbling, moving with it and against it across the paper.

I  wanted to do a project using haiku poetry in my work. Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry traditionally comprised of seventeen syllables in un-rhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables. Contemporary poets change that up a little using different numbers of syllables.. Haiku poems typically evoke an impression or feeling having to do with nature. Again, contemporary versions may stray from this strict definition and turn inward to express something more personal.

I took me a while to realize that combining a haiku with collage on suminagashi marbled paper was what I was looking for. And so, the Haiku Project was born. I reached out to you, my readers, requesting original haikus. You write the poem, I’ll use it in my art and credit you by using your first name in the title i.e. “Brad’s Haiku.” You responded, generously, sending me beautiful poems.

The collage is built in layers beginning with the marbled paper.

Brad’s Haiku

Next, I write the haiku using stencils with pencil and pastels in a pattern of movement that complements the flow of the marbling.

Dave’s Haiku

 

The cut paper collage elements are next. Here is a detail at that stage.

Dave’s Haiku-detail

Last, the cut out letters (from print scraps) are overlaid on the previously stenciled letters. Still with me? A completed collage looks like this.

Dave’s Haiku

Here are the words for “Brad’s Haiku”, cut from print scraps, which will be the final layer in the collage. Yes, it takes good eyes and steady hands to cut and glue them.

Brad’s Haiku

 

Here is “Brad’s Haiku” with stenciled letters and collage.

Brad’s Haiku

Here is the completed “Brad’s Haiku.”

Brad’s Haiku

And a detail.

Brad’s Haiku-detail

Here is the completed “Marla’s Haiku.”

Marla’s Haiku

My work table!

Work Table

Work Table

Here are the haiku poems in the collages.

“Dave’s Haiku”

winter vacancy

unnoticed till filled by a

red-winged blackbird trill

 

“Brad’s Haiku”

cold dark hotel room

in the middle of Charlotte

wishing I were home

 

“Marla’s Haiku”

darkness in daytime fire

spews round the blackened orb

shining sun returns

For me, it’s poetry in motion. Let me know what you think or feel and do send a haiku if you haven’t already.

To be continued.

 

 

Close Encounters

The difference between an “encounter” and a “close encounter” may be subtle. For me, a close encounter usually means either feeling like I’m part of the scene or being closer to the person, place or thing, maybe getting ready to chat with someone.

Pushkar Fair, India

Sometimes close, but just observing.

Pushkar Fair, India

India

Prom Night, Dallas

Sometimes really close, but no chatting!

India

Being close to or part of the action can be scary, like crossing a street in Hanoi.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Or it can take me by surprise and make me chuckle.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Norway

When the light is just right and I am close to something inside or outside there is a moment in time when something special happens.

Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark

E. Grieg’s House, Norway

Daisnibba Mountain, Norway

Getting close makes me more aware of shapes, textures and colors.

Sedona, AZ

Breckenridge, CO

Norway

Marfa, TX

Gate, Eldorado Springs, CO

Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark

Dallas, TX

Art, especially sculpture, can alter one’s perception the closer one gets. Size and scale change. Color perception changes.

Ivan Navarro

Buddha-Lin Yonggang

Juan Fontanive

Roni Horn

Infinity Mirror Room, Yayoi Kusama

I can be inside, close to a window, and get a sense of what’s outside.

Bergen, Norway

Or, I can move close to something outside that is striking in its own right.

Loen, Norway

Iceland

Sometimes there’s a barrier, so almost close is close enough.

Norway

Here are the Close Encounters photos you sent me.

Bruce Schlein

Daniel Feld-Banff

Diane deMoye

Marla Shainman – Martinique

Thank you for sharing. I hope you continue to look “closely.”

Heart to Heart

 

“S Is For Suminagashi

 

I have been working on a series on paper combining Suminagashi marbling and collage. Suminagashi is a Japanese marbling technique using special pigment inks. These inks are gently tapped on the surface of water in a tray with fine brushes. The movement of the water and my intervention moves the inks around creating swirls and ripples. The inks are intense but they appear pale and indistinct floating on the water. The magic occurs when the paper is laid on the water and lifted off. The marbled pattern appears!

I’ve often said I love the unpredictability of printmaking. Suminagashi marbling takes unpredictability to a whole new level.

The collage elements are applied to the dried marbled paper. Like all of my collages there is a combination of my recycled prints and found paper. The colors, shapes and design of the collage work in tandem with the marbling.

To give you an idea of the process from start to finish here is what the marbled paper looks like.

Suminagashi Suite 2 marbled paper

Little by little, collage elements are applied.

Suminagashi Suite 2 in progress

The finished piece!

Suminagashi Suite 2, marbled paper with collage 22×30″ 2017-18

Here is another sequence.

Suminagashi Suite 4 marbled paper

Suminagashi Suite 4 in progress

Suminagashi Suite 4, marbled paper with collage 22×30″ 2017-18

Here are several other finished collages.

Suminagashi Suite 3, marbled paper with collage 22×30″ 2017-18

Suminagashi Suite 5, marbled paper with collage 30×22″ 2017-18

Suminagashi Suite 7, marbled paper with collage 30×22″ 2017-18

To be continued!

Structures

Buildings. We live in them, store things in them, restore them, ignore them and abandon them.

The ancient world builders constructed huge complexes; so, too, today’s builders.

Ephesus, Turkey

 

One Arts Plaza, Dallas

There are simple country houses and extensive, unusual housing structures.

Ravenna, TX

Bruce Schlein Old Mill

Toftaholm-Edward Grieg’s Studio

Cappadocia, Turkey

There are buildings with elaborate facades.

Prague

Alwyn Court, NYC

There are buildings past their prime but still in use, others forgotten, abandoned.

Hill Country, TX

Round Top, TX

Prague

Glendale Mills, South Carolina

Texas

Houses of worship, like residences, come in all shapes, sizes and materials.

Lutheran Church, Reykjavik, Iceland

Church, Iceland

Loen, Norway

Stave Church, Norway

Details say a lot about a building. What is it made of? How “important” is it?

Greenville, SC

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland

Silo, Sherman, TX

Newport, OR

Museums have mostly similar purposes regardless of their design, but oh how they differ in size, shape and materials.

The Modern, Fort Worth,TX

Whitney Museum, NYC

Bridges, too. Made of stone, metal, wood or cement. All structures, all different.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Dallas, TX

Manhatten Bridge, NYC

Brooklyn Bridge, NYC

Portland, OR

Astoria, OR

And….a building with added pizazz just has to be included!

Thank you for sending your photos with STRUCTURES. Here they are! What variety!

Daniel Feld-Notre Dame

Moses Hoskins-Guggenheim Museum NYC

Rochelle Jaye-John S. Burd Ctr. for Performing Arts, Gainsville, GA

Philip Goodman

Stan Feld-Joel Shapiro

Bruce Schlein Old Mill

Marla Shaman

Robert Weitz-Guggenheim Bilbao

Next up – “Close Encounters.” What happens when you move closer to your subject? What changes? What do you see that’s different? Send me your best shots by April 3 ( no larger than 1MB).

How We Live – Eat, Play, Shop

Part 3: Shop

I admit it. I love to shop. That said I don’t always buy things. I am more apt to window shop. It’s a visual thing! Of course, depending on the day or mood, outdoor displays or intriguing windows will entice me and in I go. Who knows what treasures await me?

Display is everything. Inside or outside, it’s what grabs us.

Kansas

Alaska

Triana Market, Seville

Minturn, CO

Take a peek before you shop. There’s no charge for looking.

Boulder, CO

Boulder, CO

Budapest

Seville

Seville

Vail, CO

There are old things, new things and things on sale.

Julian, CA

Carbondale, CO

Honey Grove, TX

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Minturn, Co

Beaver Creek, CO

There are stately emporiums of style or casual displays of local ware all over the world.

Ljubjliana, Slovenia

Budapest

India

Sagres, Portugal

Shopping can mean sensory overload. How DO you decide?

Boulder

The Quilted Purl, Georgetown, CO

The setting is often the start of a great shopping adventure.

Redstone, Co

Minturn, Co

Asilah, Morocco

San Francisco

I am drawn to food halls and farmers’ markets for their ambiance as well as the discovery of some special food item or ingredient. Sometimes the people are more interesting than the food.

Budapest

Farmer’s Market, Boulder

Farmer’s Market, Dallas

And, at the end of a tiring shopping day, whether I’ve gone “window shopping” or maxed out my credit card, there’s always that special rest stop just down the road for re-fueling and thinking about tomorrow.

Alaska

Thanks to everyone who sent their “SHOP” photos. Here they are. From around the globe!

Robert Weitz-Mallin, Buenos Aires

Robert Weitz-GUM Moscow

Bruce Schlein-Mall

Bruce Schlein-Mall

Daniel Feld-Galleries Lafayette

Moses Hoskins-Cairo

Moses Hoskins-Mumbai

Stan Feld-Julian, CA

Stan Feld-Julian, CA

Next time – let’s look at STRUCTURES and focus on the “built” or man made, the architecture of a place or culture. What do these spaces say about us? Look at interiors or exteriors, patterns, textures and colors.

Send me your best shots (identify what or where, if possible) by February 6, 2018 as attachments, no larger than 1 MG.  

STOP, LOOK, SHOOT!

How We Live – Eat, Play, Shop

Part 2: PLAY

Who plays? What kind of play? With whom? Where? What is played?

The word PLAY can call to mind any or all of the above. Here’s a little of my own exploration of the word.

Amusement parks entice with games of chance, rides and fun houses for young and old.

San Francisco, CA

State Fair of Texas, Dallas

State Fair of Texas

Adult play in casinos.

Choctaw Casino, OK

All together now! Group play experience. Did they all drink the Cool-Aid?

James Turrell, Guggenheim Museum, NY

Playing music – solo or group. On the street, at a market, near water, in a plaza or train station. We share the musicians’ enthusiasm as we pause to listen.

Barcelona, Spain

Before The Game, Boulder, CO

On The Bridge, Prague

San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Greetings from Nova Scotia

New York City

Music at the Met, NY

Lunchtime Serenade Chelsea, NY

Leader of the Band, Zagreb, Croatia

Portland, OR

Here’s playing with some serious concentration.

Concentrating on the Game, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Concentrating on the Game, Turkey

Here’s more work than play for one, more play for the other (waiting).

Rodeo Cowgirl, CO

Rodeo Gal, Colorado

There’s quiet play and taking a break from play.

Oregon Coast

Georgetown, CO

Kids! They know how to PLAY. Anytime, anywhere. Big kids, too!

Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway

Richard Serra, Ft. Worth Modern

On The Roof At The Met, NY

Jane’s Carousel, NYC

Kids and Carousel, Zagreb, Croatia

What Do You See? Beaver Creek, CO

Aspen, CO

Thank you for sending your PLAY photos. Here they are!

Bruce Schlein

Barbara Moses – Israeli Soldiers Dancing

Ginger Mynat

Marla Shaman

Next time – How We Live Part 3: SHOP. In all its manifestations.

Send me your best shots as attachments, no larger than 1MB by December 27, 2017. Stop, look, shoot!

 

In Case You Missed It

The exhibit “Contemporary Collage” opened at the Lincoln Center Art Gallery in Fort Collins, CO on November 10th and included six of my collages.

For this exhibit I selected a group of collages from the series “Have Map Will Travel.” They deal with the kinds of relationships all my work addresses, color, shape, line and texture. I construct the collages on paper using my recycled prints (monotypes, collagraphs, etchings), photos (mine) and found paper.

In this ongoing series I add sections of maps, which I have photographed (I can’t bear to cut up old maps) and printed. The map shapes may or may not denote places where I have traveled. They help lead the eye in and around the collage.

Here are my collages and the gallery information.

Have Map Will Travel 2, collage, 22×30″

Have Map Will Travel 3, collage 22×30″

Have Map Will Travel 4, collage 30×22″

Have Map Will Travel 5, collage 30×22″

Have Map Will Travel 8, collage 24×20″

Have Map Will Travel 9, collage 24×20″

Contemporary Collage

November 10, 2017 – January 9, 2018

Reception: November 10 from 6-8 PM

Gallery hours: Tues – Sat, 12 – 6 PM

Lctix.com/exhibitions

Giustina Renzoni, (970) 416-2737

If you live near Fort Collins I hope you stop by to see the show which ends on January 9, 2018. Viewing art is always in season!