In 2019, together with the whole of Germany and many international partners, Neues Museum Nuremberg will be celebrating the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar. For a hundred years, the legendary school of design has been changing the face of our world. Its concepts for education and production, and thus ultimately for remaking the way we live together, remain unsurpassed. A playful approach to teaching was a productive and innovative element of the artistic process at the Bauhaus, and play still leads the way as a strategy in the deep-seated pursuit of artistic expression.
The inclusion of concepts of play and playfulness in artistic development, a time-tested approach that was specific to the Bauhaus, is the focus of this major exhibition. Progressive teaching theories from the nineteenth century are juxtaposed with modern-day equivalents; Friedrich Fröbel’s “Play Gifts” meet with LEGO Architecture and Silicon Valley creative laboratories. Today, as computer games have gained broad social acceptance and intelligence has become programmable, questions of innovation and creativity in our models for working and living seem more topical than ever. Bauhaus masters like Walter Gropius and Johannes Itten already recognized the far-reaching social and artistic potential of play – at a time when something new had to be made out of the ruins of the old world. They made play the basis of their interdisciplinary preliminary courses, and the idea of combining work and play manifested in Itten’s inaugural lecture of 1919 came to shape the Bauhaus programme. The Bauhaus school used the human urge to play as an engine to drive development and design. With this exhibition, Neues Museum traces this tradition and explores the ways the Bauhaus legacy is being passed on via the present to the future.
The exhibition features over one hundred works from over one hundred years, from historical to contemporary, by artists including: Friedrich Fröbel, Maria Montessori, Gustav and Otto Lilienthal, Lyonel Feininger, Bruno Taut, Walter Gropius, Hermann Finsterlin, Johannes Itten, Oskar Schlemmer, Anni Albers, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, Alma Siedhoff-Buscher, Georg Weidenbacher, Max Bill, Hans Gugelot, Hans Brockhage, Renate Müller, Laurie Simmons, Liam Gillick, Olaf Nicolai, Yto Barrada, Goshka Macuga, Thomas Hawranke and Eva Grubinger.
Curated by Prof. Dr. Thomas Hensel and Dr. Robert Eikmeyer
Display by Liam Gillick
The accompanying booklet for the exhibition, which you can obtain free of charge when you visit the exhibition, can be viewed online as a PDF or downloaded here.
Funded by the Bauhaus heute Fund of the Germany’s Federal Cultural Foundation
A co-organisation with Hochschule Pforzheim