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Bauhaus & Constructivism : 

Bauhaus & Constructivism Commonalities By Christopher Chance

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For all they had in common they had their minor differences. Neither considered itself a movement; Bauhaus was an institution and Constructivism was a trend. After that the differences were minor; they were both interested in functional art with an industrial influence. Artistic processes applied to machine production. Neither wanted to be referred to as fine art, they both worked hard to abolish the traditional lines between art and fine art. They both worked in relief construction, ordered, geometric, spatial, architectonic. Both were very heavily into experimental uses of industrial materials. Constructivism was merely 6 years older than the Bauhaus, but the ideas and thinking behind each were neck and neck.

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Bauhaus School of Art (1919 ~ 1933) Founder: Walter Gropius (May 18, 1883 ~ July 5, 1969) Well Known Bauhaus Artists: Vassily Kadinsky , Paul Klee, Herbert Bayer, Josef Albers, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Joost Schmidt. Summary: Visual arts and architecture were studied and applied at the Bauhaus. Designs intended for mass production. Oppressed by Hitler & the Nazi regime. Subject Matter: Designs for architecture, furniture, typography, functional ceramics and tapestries. Was influenced by Constructivism and influenced Art Deco and modern architecture.

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Bauhaus Art 1: “In the Black Square (1923) Description: This piece is a rather interesting abstract. An off perspective white square within a black square. It has a hint of industrialization as the “mountains” and squares beneath are reminiscent of a factory from an old propaganda poster, the arc to the left seems to be an aerial views of a stadium. Analysis: Great use of space is about 50/50. Lines are dynamic, colors used are minimal yet exciting. A busy picture drawn texture gives it some weight. By Vassily Kadinsky

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Bauhaus Art 2: “Hochstuhl” (Baby’s High Chair) Description: A Bauhaus high chair , an example of functional design art. Use of curves and industrial materials, steel and leather, that characterizes the style. Analysis: Shape is ultra chic. Futuristic, out of the ordinary. The curved pieces form its “lines” and are Bauhaus to a tee, a simple unadorned item, that is art itself, the texture derives from its leather upholstery.

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Bauhaus Art 3: “Bauhaus Architecture” Description: The heart of the style. The bare essence that is Bauhaus “Build House”. Functional art that incorporates a lot of unity and variety (mostly through window placement). Also proportions of sections and scale of building. Analysis: Exquisite use of shape, space, texture, color is minimal and subtle mostly in lighter shades mixed with black.

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Bauhaus Art 4: “Bauhaus Alphabet” Description: The Bauhaus type font is very utilitarian and honors the styles principles in design. It was created using 10 basic shapes based on the circle and the rectangle. It is considered “efficient, easy to learn, and inexpensive to produce.” The 10 shapes in combination could form any letter or number.

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Bauhaus Artists

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Constructivism (1913-1930) Founder: Vladamir Tatlin (December 16, 1885 ~ May 21, 1953) Well known Constructivism Artists: El Lissitzky, Vladamir Mayakovsky, John Heartfield, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Herman Glockner, Oswaldo Viteri. Summary: Constructivism rejected conventional traditional painting in favor of utilitarian design for mass production art applied to industrial needs. Subject Matter: Abstract assemblages of industrial plastic, glass and wire. Vladamir Tatlin

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Constructivism was influenced by Picasso’s constructions, Cubism, and Cubo-Futurism. It in turn influenced the Bauhaus, Minimalism, and De Stijl. With the theory that some works are non representational others are functional.

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Constructivism Art 1: “Rosta Window” Description: A propaganda poster using the red hand and squares for unity and variety, proportion and balance. It is scaled. Analysis: Good use of shape and space, with all 4 squares being fairly equal. Line use is similar in the squares, 3 boxes have a cloud the 4th boxes similar line is the man’s beard. 4 color simple, with cyrillic typography. By Vladamir Mayakovsky

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Constructivism Art 2: “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge (1920) Description: A geometric abstract that uses Hierarchy Dominance to make its point. The overall piece uses proportion well, it is balanced almost Yin/Yang. Definite emphasis on the red wedge. Movement is suggested by debris. Analysis: This poster uses shape and space well (a landmark of the style). Its colors are simple yet effective black, white, red. A modest Cyrillic typography dots this work. By El Lissitzky

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Constructivism Art 3: “Monument to the Third International” (1919- 1920) By Vladamir tatlin Description: A model of a proposed yet never built monument using scale, rhythm, and movement (suggested by the spiraling design) proximity and repetition exist in the placement of the vertical bars. Very high tech. Analysis: This model displays a good understanding of shape and space, its “inferred” lines come from its metal bars.

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Constructivism Art 4: “Rodchenko Poster Flier (1925) Description: A propaganda poster showing unity and variety in its use of squares, and forms, very nice proportions & balance. Simple proximity and repetition in the squares as well. Analysis: Excellent use of shape and space, colors are simple red, black, gray. Typography is larger French words written in American alphabet. By Aleksandr Rodchenko

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Conclusions Although constructivism had a communist social purpose, its ideas and designs roughly mimicked those of the Bauhaus. Constructivism unlike the Bauhaus was fractionized and broken into competing groups. It fell out of favor in 1932 a sad ending to a great idea.

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WORKS CITED The Constructivism Art pieces 1-4: http://rebeccareilering.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/the-russian-avant-garde/ Guggenheim Museum, Past Exhibitions, Klee and Kadinsky, the Bauhaus Years. March 3, 2004 http://pastexhibitons.guggenheim.org/Klee_Kand/index.html Art: “in the black square.” Kadinsky, Vassily . June 1923. http://www.guggenheim.org/New-york/about-us/guggenheim-images Baby Hochstuhl (Bauhaus baby high chair) http://daddytypes.com/2007/12/17/Achtung_baby_sweet_bauhaussy_high_chair.php December 17, 2007 Bauhaus Architecture: Web site: the Bauhaus Flats. http://the bauhausflats.com/history.htm 2010

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WORKS CITED II Bauhaus Alphabet (font) website: http://erpenduum.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/bauhaus_alphabet.jpg July 2008

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