Monday, February 29, 2016

SYNOPSIS: From Bauhaus | To Black Mountain

Without the past there can be no present or pathway to the future, and with the knowledge that the telling of history determines who is most enfranchised in the everyday, there is at least one story about the history of art and education in the 20th century deserving a much closer and careful examination.

By investigating one of the most enduring spans in the history of modern art—from 1919 to 1933 and directly thereafter 1933 to 1957—representing the respective years of operation for the Bauhaus school, which closed the same year that Black Mountain College opened—renowned artist, writer and historian, Max Eternity, goes beyond familiar tropes and conversations on the subject.  Eternity illuminates a multitude of crucial transatlantic arts and humanities relationships in the Western world during those times, whereby sharpening and refining the historical lens.

Observed in the study of Germany's Bauhaus and the United States’ Black Mountain College, and by playing close attention to the social impact of these educational (forums) institutions and their respective players, From Bauhaus | To Black Mountain presents an intriguing and voluminous, yet concise, historical record in a manner accessible to layperson, practitioner, and academic.

In the malleable present and within the great hallways of collective memory, From Bauhaus | To Black Mountain offers an intellectually exciting and richly detailed understanding of the roots, and other aspects, of early to mid-century modernism’s family tree.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

"Art Equality" article by Max Eternity mentions Jacob Lawrence @ Black Mountain College

In my latest article, published today at Truthout, there is mention of Jacob Lawrence, an African-American artist of the Harlem Renaissance, who was mentored by Agusta Savage and Winhold Reiss, and who taught at Black Mountain College in the 1940's segegrated South, at the invitation of Joseph and Anni Albers.
"...during the 1940s, in the age of Jim Crow segregation - at the invitation of Josef and Anni Albers, who were former instructors at Germany's Bauhaus School - Lawrence became an instructor at Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina, where Walter Gropius, Albert Einstein and Buckminster Fuller also taught among many other notables, like Harlem Renaissance visitors, Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes."  Read more.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Walter Gropius, “Bauhaus Manifesto”

On April 1, 1919 the Bauhaus school opened in Weimar, Germany.  And declaring "Art and Technology: A New Unity," the Bauhaus Founding Director, Walter Gropius, explained the Bauhaus Manifesto:

The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building! To embellish buildings was once the noblest function of the fine arts; they were the indispensable components of great architecture. Today the arts exist in isolation, from which they can be rescued only through the conscious, cooperative effort of all craftsmen.  Architects, painters, and sculptors must recognize anew andlearn to grasp the composite character of a building both as an entity and in its separate parts.  Only then will their work be imbued with the architectonic spirit which it has lost as “salon art.” 
The old schools of art were unable to produce this unity; how could they, since art cannot be taught. They must be merged once more with the workshop. The mere drawing and painting world of the pattern designer and the applied artist must become a world that builds again. When young people who take a joy in artistic creation once more begin their life's work by learning a trade, then the unproductive “artist” will no longer be condemned to deficient artistry, for their skill will now be preserved for the crafts, in which they will be able to achieve excellence. 
Architects, sculptors, painters, we all must return to the crafts! For art is not a “profession.” There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. In rare moments of inspiration, transcending the consciousness of his will, the grace of heaven may cause his work to blossom into art. But proficiency in a craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies the prime source of creative imagination 
Let us then create a new guild of craftsmen without the class distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist! Together let us desire, conceive, and create the new structure of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity and which will one day rise toward heaven from the hands of a million workers like the crystal symbol of a new faith. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Andrew Reach on From Bauhaus | To Black Mountain

“I think you are writing a very important book on the subject of the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College—in a way not touched in academia, as far as I know—inclusive to the interconnections with the Jim Crow South, and shedding light on new territory about African American modernists. I think also your perspective is fresh, in comparison to the usual suspects in mainstream academia who have dominated the subject. On a side note, the cover art you created for this project is beautiful, and connects with the modernity of the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College.” 

Andrew Reach
Architect | Artist

Nicolas Fox Weber: An Insider's Glimpse of Bauhaus Life