The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism
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The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism

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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Nicholas Fox Weber, for thirty-three years head of the Albers Foundation, spent many years with Anni and Josef Albers, the only husband-and-wife artistic pair at the Bauhaus (she was a textile artist; he a professor and an artist, in glass, metal, wood, and photography). The Alberses told him their own stories and described life at the Bauhaus with their fellow artists and...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Knopf (first published 2009)
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Tony
Jan 01, 2010 Tony rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: art
Weber, Nicholas Fox. THE BAUHAUS GROUP: Six Masters of Modernism. (2009). ****. You should be warned that this is a dense book, obviously well-researched by the author. You should also know that the members of this school were living, breathing, rutting people, and the author makes sure that most of the amorous alliances are fully presented. Most of the author’s information came from Anni and Josef Albers, the only husband-and-wife artist pair at the Bauhaus. The word “Bauhaus” means a house of...more
Patrick Sprunger
May 27, 2010 Patrick Sprunger rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want to know where Ikea came from
Nicholas Fox Weber personally spent a lot of time with the Alberses (Josef and Anni), acted as executor of Anni Albers's estate, observed the couple's eccentric experience with American consumer culture, and mitigated their sometimes petulant attitude toward other people. There probably isn't a better American suited to compile a few short biographies of some of the core Bauhauslers, because few Americans probably understand the nuance and inconsistency within the Bauhaus itself.

Mr. Weber's appr...more
Bill
Sadly, this book was a horrible read, and I couldn't even finish it. I got about 300 pages in, and decided that I just couldn't take anymore. Its only saving grace is the extremely interesting subject matter, but if you are interested in learning about the Bauhaus school, I would turn else where. The book is set up as a series of biographies of 6 artists: Gropius, Klee, Kandinsky, Josef and Anni Albers and van der Rohe. The biographies are each written in a different style based on the subject,...more
Carol
Not always the best writing, but Fox Weber was friends with two Bauhaslers (as they were called) -- Josef Albers and Anni Albers. His involvement in Anni Albers story provides an interesting female perspective on the famous German design school (although she would probably swat at me for saying that).
Dagmar Cunningham
Anyone interested in the origins of modern art and architecture should read this. Since the author was personal friends with Bauhaus artists (Albers), the impressions are more direct.
Margaret
Sometimes his preference for AA stands through a bit too much, but great insight into the characters of bauhaus.
Liam
"'We prefer good machinery to bad art.'" (quoting Josef Albers, xiii)

"The muddiness created by governments could be tempered by the luster of polished chrome. The emotional anxieties generated by militarism and inflation formed a compost that nourished a passion for a stability derived from visual harmony." (33)

"'The more horrifying this world becomes (as it is these days) the more art becomes abstract; while a world a peace produces realistic art.'" (quoting Paul Klee, 107)

"'Color is the keyboa...more
Pollopicu

Not as exciting as I anticipated. I expected the story of The Bauhaus Group to be as riveting as Peggy Guggenheims "Art Lover" or Frederick Kaisler's "Art of this Century", instead it was excruciatingly boring. I did however, enjoy reading about Gropius, Klee and Kandisnky's lives, but somehow I knew that once the author got to the Albers' life the gossip wouldn't be as juicy, since most of the recollections came from Annie Albers and Josef themselves, and they were married for over 50 years. I'...more
Jenn Beach
I enjoyed how the book not only talked about how these masters were influenced by and influenced others, but discussed their background and private lives in order to see them as real people.
Canfield
Great subject lots of flaccid gossip but he can't write. The book has all the earmarks of a word processor on steroids too much trivia without clear story line jumping around in different places and times.Very interesting moments but Edit it ! and enough about the author and his personal life with the Albers, Isn't that a separate book ? How could he write this book after finishing his Corbu book only a year earlier ??? Slow done and get some flow, more pictures that are on the same page with th...more
Carol
Love Bauhaus and this book was great. Always thought Joseph Albes was a genius. Now I know that so was his wife, Anni. Very personal stories. Also bios on Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandisky and Ludwig Mies van deer Rohe.
R. Patrick
An excellent look at the people who headed up the Bauhaus group. The portraits are enlightening. The interpretations of their work and philosophy of art was extensive. Highly recommended.
Melissa
Another art book, interesting from an historical aspect, but didn't care for the philosophy of the group's members. Very elitist attitude.
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Nicholas Fox Weber is a cultural historian and Executive Director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. He has written extensively about both Josef and Anni Albers and curated many major exhibitions and retrospectives dedicated to their work. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Yale University and author of fourteen books including Patron Saints, The Art of Babar, The Drawings of Josef Alb...more
More about Nicholas Fox Weber...
Le Corbusier: A Life The Clarks of Cooperstown Balthus: A Biography Josef + Anni Albers: Designs for Living Art of Babar

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“[The Bauhauslers] were joined in their will to replace outmoded values for everyone, rather than to retreat to alternate lives for themselves alone. They were not revolutionaries who wanted to topple the existing framework, but pioneers who sought to transform it. The Bauhauslers respected what was best in the existing German culture; they did not unilaterally disparage all its traditions. They wanted to forge connections, to see their ways accepted and integrated. (362)” 2 likes
“Artists who shared (Paul) Klee's fundamental beliefs, such as (Piet) Mondrian, were searching for universal truths, often derived from nature and having "all-mighty power." For some, a traditional notion of God was part of this; for others, it was of no consequence. What mattered was not the precise character of the object of worship, but the shared belief in its superiority to the cult of self. (104)” 1 likes
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