2019 marks 100 years since the Bauhaus, a progressive school for art, architecture and design, was founded in Germany. A century on, the school’s ideas and teaching methods continue to resonate around the world. The modern and idealistic design philosophy also left its mark on Dutch textiles. The exhibition Bauhaus& | Modern Textiles in the Netherlands highlights the influence of the Bauhaus on Dutch textile design and traces its history from past to present. A handful of Bauhäusler, as the students were called, graduated from the Bauhaus’ weaving workshop in Dessau and came to work the Netherlands. They inspired subsequent generations of textile designers and artists. This exhibition also focuses on four contemporary artists, whom the TextielMuseum commissioned to make new work that reflects on the heritage of the famous school.
Visitors in the exhibition. Photo: Tommy de Lange
Bauhaus& the weavers
The Bauhaus formulated a radically different view of design than the predominant ideas of the 19th century. In the weaving workshop, functionality, (affordable) mass production and consumable fabrics were a high priority. The exhibition immerses visitors in the world of the Bauhaus’ weaving workshop and displays the diversity of textiles, colour and material experiments by Gunta Stölzl, Anni Albers, Otti Berger and the students who would later work in the Netherlands. Through the eyes of Kitty van der Mijll Dekker, Greten Neter-Kähler, Lisbeth Oestreicher and Otti Berger, we see what the Bauhaus principles meant to them and how this shaped their own practice. Unique teaching materials from their student years, from the TextielMuseum’s collection, shed light on their approach: design with a high degree of technical proficiency, using new materials such as cellophane and iron yarn.
The female Bauhaus weavers were long overshadowed by their male colleagues like Paul Klee, Johannes Itten and Wassily Kandinsky, although their fabrics fully conformed to the Bauhaus ideal and enjoyed widespread popularity. These women have slowly gained recognition, including in prominent museums such as MoMA and Tate.
This exhibition serves to give Dutch weavers their rightful place in textile history.
Visitor with the artwork of Saskia Noor van Imhoff. Photo: Diewke van den Heuvel.
Bauhaus& later generations
Kitty van der Mijll Dekker and Greten Neter-Kähler also left their mark on art curricula. For decades, they were lecturers at the Institute for Applied Arts Education, now the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Their ideas, which owed much to the Bauhaus principles, found fertile ground in the work of new generations of designers and artists such as Herman Scholten, Margot Rolf and Maria Blaisse, and helped to ensure that textiles were given a ‘modern’ look. The ‘heavy’ and decorative textiles of Art Nouveau and the Amsterdam School, which had long been popular in the Netherlands, were replaced by light, airy fabrics with abstract designs. The development towards an autonomous textile art also takes place from the 1970s.
Bauhaus& the TextielLab
The TextielMuseum used the Bauhaus’ 100-year anniversary as an opportunity to invite four artists to produce new pieces for the museum’s collection in the TextielLab. Saskia Noor van Imhoff, Krijn de Koning, Marijn van Kreij and Koen Taselaar used the high- and low-tech possibilities in the TextielLab to shape their ideas, which were inspired by the Bauhaus.
photo: limited edition tea towel Kitty van der Mijll Dekker by TextielMuseum
‘The Bauhaus formulated a radically different view of design than the predominant ideas of the 19th century. In the weaving workshop, functionality, (affordable) mass production and consumable fabrics were a high priority’
Bauhaus& by TextielMuseum
As part of the exhibition, the ‘by TextielMuseum’ label reissued a unique piece from the TextielMuseum collection: a special glass cloth that Kitty van der Mijll designed for the damask and linen weaving factory E.J.F. van Dissel & Zn. in Eindhoven. The design, which was very modern and innovative at the time, was reproduced in the TextielLab.
At a time when tea towels were usually a red or blue check, this design attracted immediate attention. It remained a bestseller for decades. The cloth was a refined combination of red and blue stripes with colour gradations where the stripes intersected. The asymmetry was also considered ground-breaking in 1935. The cloth will be available in a limited edition in the TextielShop during the exhibition and online via by.textielmuseum.nl.
100 years of Bauhaus
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
nederland ⇄ bauhaus – pioniers of a new world
09.02.2019 – 26.05.2019
New Reflections on the Bauhaus Movement in Time-Based Media Art
14.02.2019 – 16.05.2019
With films of f.e. Niklas Goldbach, Miriam Gossing & Lina Sieckmann, Rachel Rose, Adnan Softic, Rebecca Ann Tess, Dimitri Venkov, Benjamin Verhoeven, Tobias Zielony en Moira Zoitl. More information and dates: www.goethe.de/nederland.
02.03.2019 – 20.12.2019
Entrance: free (only by appointment [email protected])
De Branding Rotterdam
03.03.2019 – 01.09.2019
Every Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm , 2 pm and 3 pm
INCLUDING FREE BUS CONNECTION MUSEUMPARK – VAN NELLEFABRIEK
Departure times bus Museumpark: 12.30 pm, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm
Gunta Stölzl: 100 years Bauhaus textiles
30.03.2019 – 01.09.2019
Wall House#2, Lutulistraat 17, Groningen