JOHANNES ITTEN: ART AS LIFE BAUHAUS UTOPIAS AND DOCUMENTS OF REALITY

(Friday) (Sunday)

The Kunstmuseum Bern is devoting an exhibition to the prominent Swiss artist and Bauhaus master Johannes Itten in 2019, the Bauhaus centenary year. The exhibition sets itself the goal of being the first ever to present this artist’s utopian vision of uniting art and life in an all-embracing way.

When the Bauhaus was founded, Johannes Itten had already adopted a radical position as an artist in his pursuit of the "uttermost dematerialisation of individual objects”, and he formulated this idea programmatically in the famous Bauhaus almanac Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit (Utopia: Documents of reality).

Key exhibition pieces are Itten’s newly researched diaries and sketchbooks. They were integral to his artistic practice from 1913 onward and have never been shown on such a broad scope before. They not only help us understand Itten’s art-theoretical reflections on colour but also his thoughts on the principles of art and his hitherto unknown study of the old masters – while also providing leads on the literature he read on contemporary esoteric and scientific ideas. In his diaries he likewise inquired into things such as vegetarianism, breathing techniques, rhythmic gymnastics and other practices or mindsets geared toward changing lifestyles, which are again increasing in popularity today. The many sketches simultaneously reveal a fascinating range of visual forms of representation that span abstraction, diagrammatic reduction, collage and figuration in a contradictory mode to the usual narratives of the evolution of avant-garde art.

The exhibition retraces Itten’s development from his beginnings in Switzerland through the periods he spent in Stuttgart, Vienna, Weimar and Herrliberg, covering also his pursuits in Berlin, Krefeld and Amsterdam, which have previously received only scant attention. Juxtaposed with leading works of his painted oeuvre, this comprehensive presentation succeeds in illustrating a new angle on Itten’s hitherto concealed understanding of the world and on his artistic working processes that were based thereon.

Curators : Nina Zimmer and Christoph Wagner

An exhibition by Kunstmuseum Bern. Subsequently it will be shown at the Kunstforum Hermann Stenner in Bielefeld (8.3.-28.6.20).

Visit the other big anniversary exhibition at the Zentrum Paul Kleebauhaus imagnista (20.09.19 – 12.01.20). This show premieres an investigation into Bauhaus reception history that goes beyond the borders of Europe, presenting a totally new angle on the Bauhaus.

Selection of further exhibitions in: Switzerland

07.12.2019 - 09.02.2020
Kunstmuseum - Museum of Art Lucerne
Europaplatz 1
Luzern

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01.12.2019 - 24.12.2019
mdc
Spalenvorstadt 18
Basel

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07.12.2019 - 09.02.2020
Kunstmuseum - Museum of Art Lucerne
Europaplatz 1
Luzern

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30.08.2019 - 02.02.2020
13.09.2019 - 02.02.2020
01.08.2016 - 01.01.2030
Landesmuseum Zürich
Museumstrasse 2
Zürich

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23.08.2019 - 24.05.2020
Zentrum Paul Klee
Monument im Fruchtland 3
Bern

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02.11.2019 - 26.01.2020
Musée de Beaux-arts du Locle
Marie-Anne-Calame 6
Le Locle

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07.09.2019 - 01.03.2020
Museum Franz Gertsch
Platanenstrasse 3
Burgdorf

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07.09.2019 - 01.03.2020
Museum Franz Gertsch
Platanenstrasse 3
Burgdorf

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21.03.2020 - 16.08.2020
Museum Franz Gertsch
Platanenstrasse 3
Burgdorf

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02.11.2019 - 26.12.2019
Musée de Beaux-arts du Locle
Marie-Anne-Calame 6
Le Locle

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23.08.2019 - 24.05.2020
Zentrum Paul Klee
Monument im Fruchtland 3
Bern

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30.11.2019 - 08.03.2020
Museum Franz Gertsch
Platanenstrasse 3
Burgdorf

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25.10.2019 - 19.01.2020
Kunsthaus Zürich
Heimplatz 1
Zürich

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05.06.2019 - 06.09.2020
Zentrum Paul Klee
Monument im Fruchtland 3
Bern

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20.09.2019 - 12.01.2020
Zentrum Paul Klee
Monument im Fruchtland 3
Bern

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JOHANNES ITTEN: ART AS LIFE BAUHAUS UTOPIAS AND DOCUMENTS OF REALITY Kunstmuseum Bern Main address: Kunstmuseum Bern Hodlerstrasse 12 3000 Bern, Switzerland Kunstmuseum Bern Hodlerstrasse 12 3000 Bern, Switzerland

The Kunstmuseum Bern is devoting an exhibition to the prominent Swiss artist and Bauhaus master Johannes Itten in 2019, the Bauhaus centenary year. The exhibition sets itself the goal of being the first ever to present this artist’s utopian vision of uniting art and life in an all-embracing way.

When the Bauhaus was founded, Johannes Itten had already adopted a radical position as an artist in his pursuit of the "uttermost dematerialisation of individual objects”, and he formulated this idea programmatically in the famous Bauhaus almanac Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit (Utopia: Documents of reality).

Key exhibition pieces are Itten’s newly researched diaries and sketchbooks. They were integral to his artistic practice from 1913 onward and have never been shown on such a broad scope before. They not only help us understand Itten’s art-theoretical reflections on colour but also his thoughts on the principles of art and his hitherto unknown study of the old masters – while also providing leads on the literature he read on contemporary esoteric and scientific ideas. In his diaries he likewise inquired into things such as vegetarianism, breathing techniques, rhythmic gymnastics and other practices or mindsets geared toward changing lifestyles, which are again increasing in popularity today. The many sketches simultaneously reveal a fascinating range of visual forms of representation that span abstraction, diagrammatic reduction, collage and figuration in a contradictory mode to the usual narratives of the evolution of avant-garde art.

The exhibition retraces Itten’s development from his beginnings in Switzerland through the periods he spent in Stuttgart, Vienna, Weimar and Herrliberg, covering also his pursuits in Berlin, Krefeld and Amsterdam, which have previously received only scant attention. Juxtaposed with leading works of his painted oeuvre, this comprehensive presentation succeeds in illustrating a new angle on Itten’s hitherto concealed understanding of the world and on his artistic working processes that were based thereon.

Curators : Nina Zimmer and Christoph Wagner

An exhibition by Kunstmuseum Bern. Subsequently it will be shown at the Kunstforum Hermann Stenner in Bielefeld (8.3.-28.6.20).

Visit the other big anniversary exhibition at the Zentrum Paul Kleebauhaus imagnista (20.09.19 – 12.01.20). This show premieres an investigation into Bauhaus reception history that goes beyond the borders of Europe, presenting a totally new angle on the Bauhaus.

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