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Oskar Schlemmer. Die Bühne im Bauhaus​. München: Albert Langen, 1925 (Bauhausbücher; 4)

Bauhausbücher 4 remains a landmark study of Bauhaus stagecraft. Although the name Bauhaus primarily connotes advances in architecture, this volume reinforces how much Bauhaus experimentation in stage design and theory prefigured the advances of twentieth-century theatre. Features illustrated essays by Oskar Schlemmer, László MoholyNagy, and Farkas Molnár; and includes illustrations by Marcel Breuer, Alexander [Xanti] Schawinsky, Kurt Schmidt, F. W. Bogler, and Georg Teltscher. Also includes the 22.25" × 8.25" color accordion folded bound in insert Partiturskizze zu einer Mechanischen Exzentrik by László Moholy-Nagy. His Sketch for a Score for a Mechanized Eccentric is a “synthesis of form, motion, sound, light [color], and odor.” The text is a loose collection of essays about theatre practice with the common themes of form and space as unifier. So dominant are these themes that scarcely a page goes by without reference to one or the other. While this subject has been explored by theatre visionaries like Adolphe Appia, the stage work at the Bauhaus framed the question of spatial relationships in a unique manner. In Appia’s world, humans may be the measure of all things, but at the Bauhaus the human form relinquished its Appian centrality to be placed on equal footing with all elements of theatre: light, sound, movement, form, color, and shape. Oskar Schlemmer (1888–1943) developed his Triadisches Ballett during his tenure as Master of Form at the Bauhaus theatre workshop. The stylized and wildly popular performance featured actors who transformed into geometrical shapes. The Ballett toured from 1922 until 1929 and helped spread the Bauhaus ethos throughout Europe. After his experiences in the First World War, Schlemmer began to conceive the human body as a new artistic medium. He saw ballet and pantomime as free from the historical baggage of theatre and opera and thus able to present his ideas of choreographed geometry, man as dancer, transformed by costume, moving in space. Schlemmer considered the movement of puppets and marionettes as aesthetically superior to that of humans, as it emphasised the artificial nature of every artistic medium.”

Randall Ross, Mary McCombs. Bauhaus books, Bauhaus influences: Bauhaus catalog 2016. Shreveport: Modernism101 Rare Design Books, 2016 (p. 4)

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