bauhaus
imaginista
Edition 1

Learning From

Paul Klee, Carpet (Kilim), 1927, pen on paper on cardboard, © 2017 Christie’s Images Limited.

Book cover of Ernst Fuhrmann: Tlinkit und Haida, Folkwang Verlag GmbH, Hagen 1922.
Raoul D’Harcourt: Textiles of Ancient Peru and their Techniques, University of Washington Press, Seattle 1962.

Arthur Baessler collection, Shirt, Tiahuanaco (=Tiwanaku), 0–700 (?), Peru 
© Ethnologisches Museum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, photo: Claudia Obrocki.
Anni Alber, Black–White–Gray, 1927, © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018.

Josef Albers, Loggia Wall at RIT, 1967
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018.

Rose Slivka, "New Tapestry", in: Craft Horizons, March/April 1963
Lena Bergner, Draft of a hand loom, ca. 1936–39, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
© American Craft Council / Heirs to Lena Bergner.

Eduard Gaffron Collection, Khipu, Inca 1450–1550, Huacho, Peru
© Photo: Ethnologisches Museum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, photo: Claudia Obrocki.

Anne Wilson, "Net Fence" detail, 1975, Cotton and jute cord, raffia, bamboo supports, 96 x 45 x 20 inches overall.
Courtesy of the artist.

Lenore Tawney, Mask, ca. 1967, Linen, pre-Columbian beads, shell, horsehair
Photos: George Erml; Courtesy: Lenore G. Tawney Foundation.

Marguerite Wildenhain, Double Face pot, 1960–70, Luther College, Decorah, photo: Grant Watson, © Luther College.

Kader Attia, Signs of Reappropriation as Repair, 2017, Single projection of 80 slides, Courtesy of the artist.

from: Maghreb Art Magazine, No. 3, 1965.

Poster exhibition of Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Chabâa, Mohamed Melehi, Théâtre National
Mohamed V, design: Mohamed Melehi, 1965, Toni Maraini, personal archive / courtesy by Toni Maraini.
Painted ceiling of Mohamed Melehi, Hotel Les Roses du Dades, Kelaa M'Gouna, 1968–69
Architects: cabinet Faraoui et de Mazières, archives: Faraoui et de Mazières.

Door from the Musée Tiskiwin, Collection of Bert Flint, photo: Maud Houssais.

●Edition Concept

Departing from Paul Klee’s drawing of a North African kilim, the edition Learning From foregrounds an interest at the Bauhaus in the vernacular and the premodern as well as in the social value of craft. This interest, reflected in the collection of the Bauhaus library, included European folk art, the decorative arts of North Africa and the Near East as well as the ancient civilizations of the Americas.

 

While this is relating to an early twentieth-century “primitivist” discourse, at the Bauhaus, things such as African and Andean patterns and techniques were carefully studied by masters and students in order to innovate from within their own culture and to synthesize this knowledge into modern designs. In mid-twentieth-century North America, Bauhaus practices, evolved through contact with ancient as well as contemporary indigenous cultures, became the source for formal as well as technical developments, particularly in the field of weaving. In North Africa, as part of the process of decolonization, an engagement with local crafts took on a political meaning, including in establishing new art school curricula, away from the Beaux-Arts education still based on orientalism, figurative art, and the division of the applied (low) and fine (high) arts. And in Brazil, a generation of cultural practitioners, including artists, architects, and pedagogues partially oriented through a relation with the Bauhaus, experienced a pull towards the marginal as a way to produce a break from the hegemony of European modernism.

 

Learning From tracks this history of appropriation through a series of geographies and time periods. It asks who produces the craft object, who learns, and who profits from it. Here, craft becomes a symbolic and political medium, highlighting various positionalities, including the North African Berber, the Andean weaver and the women of the Fibre Art movement.

●Related Articles
●Article
Common Threads — Approaches to Paul Klee’s Carpet of 1927

Paul Klee’s Carpet, 1927, creates a conundrum for scholars as it does not neatly fit the existing theoretical models concerning how European artists engage with non-Western art and culture, while at the same time opening up exciting new avenues for inquiry. → more

●Article
Anni Albers and Ancient American Textiles

At the time Anni Albers wrote On Weaving in 1965, few discussions of Andean textiles “as art” had appeared in weaving textbooks, but there were numerous publications, many of which were German books published between 1880 and 1929, that documented and described their visual and technical properties. Albers almost single-handedly introduced weaving students to this ancient textile art through her writing and her artistic work.  → more

●Article
Andean Weaving and the Appropriation of the Ancient Past in Modern Fiber Art

Ancient and indigenous textile cultures of the Americas played a critical role in the development of the work of fiber artists who came of age in the U.S. in the late 1950s and 1960s. Anyone who has studied fiber art of this period, myself included, knows this well. They openly professed an admiration for traditions ranging from Navaho weaving, to the use of the backstrap loom in Mexico and Central America, to the ancient weaving techniques of Peru. → more

●Article
Teko Porã — On Art and Life

Cristine Takuá is an indigenous philosopher, educator, and artisan who lives in the village of Rio Silveira, state of São Paulo, Brazil. She was invited to present a contemporary perspective on questions and tensions raised by interactions between the indigenous communities and the mainstream art system, as well as to address Brazil’s specific social and political context. → more

●Article
The Bauhaus and Morocco

In the years when Western nations were committed in new projects of partnership, with what was then called the “Third World”, young artists and students from the Maghreb had grown up in the passionate climate of the struggle for independence, were talented, open to modernity, and eager to connect with twentieth-century international art movements, which were different in production and spirit from colonial ideology and culture. → more

●Article
Memories

I was sixteen years old when I undertook my first journey into finding a professional vocation, first in Asilah, then in Fez followed by Tétouan. 1952. Tangiers was, to me, an open book, a window on the world. The freedom of seeing, of discovering and of feeling, of weaving the narratives of my dreams. → more

●Artist Text
Research Project by Kader Attia

Looking into the history of objects, into their original practical and social function as well as into the circumstances of their transition to European and other countries of Western civilization, the artist Kader Attia aims at conveying the full identity of the objects and to follow the traces of their disappearance that still can be discovered today and call for repair. → more

●Video
kNOT a QUIPU — An Interview with Cecilia Vicuña

In this recorded interview, Vicuña describes how after she first learned about quipu, she immediately integrated the system into her life. Quipu, the Spanish transliteration of the word for “knot” in Cusco Quechua, is a system of colored, spun and plied or waxed threads or strings made from cotton or camelid fiber. They were used by the Inca people for a variety of administrative purposes, mainly record-keeping, and also for other ends that have now been lost to history.  → more

●Research Archive
Essai d'Inventaire des Styles dans les Arts Populaires du Maroc
Bert Flint

Publié dans: Maghreb Art, 1966.
Courtesy of Mohammed Melehi and Toni Maraini.

FR Size: 38 MB
Témoignage sur un artiste occidental. Herbert Bayer
Toni Maraini

Publié dans: Integral, No. 12–13, 1978.
Courtesy of Toni Maraini.

FR Size: 2 MB
Fiches et questionnaire avec Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Chabaa, Mohamed Melehi
Abdellatif Laâbi

Publié dans: Souffles, No. 7–8, 1967.

Courtesy of Abdellatif Laâbi.

FR Size: 26 MB
Tapestry Rugs in an Ancient Peruvian Design
Mary Meigs Atwater

from: Shuttle-Craft Bulletin, March 1941.

EN Size: 782 KB
Work with Material
Anni Albers

from: Black Mountain College Bulletin, No. 5, 1938.

EN Size: 2 MB
Source:Reproduced with permission of North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.
Oral history interview with Sheila Hicks
Monique Lévi-Strauss, Sheila Hicks

Oral history interview, 2004 February 3 and March 11.

EN Size: 82 KB
●All Articles
Filter by Language:
  • EN
  • DE
  • FR