Decoration as Trespass?

Third part of the special exhibition series »111/99 – Questioning the Modernist Design Vocabulary«

Werkbund Archive – Museum of Things

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Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge, 2019. Foto: Armin Herrmann
10.10.2019 19:00

Intense colors, abstract compositions of lines and constructivist patterns on cake plates, cups and saucers – the sprayed decoration in ceramics of the 1920s and 1930s belongs to a different current in modern aesthetics than the functional, unadorned objects of the Werkbund and the Bau­haus. Applied using efficient stencil and spray techniques, they pay tribute both to rationaliza­tion and to the avant-­garde painting of the early 20th century.

Spray­-decorated ceramics continued to be an eco­nomical and fashionable commodity even during the Great Depression, manufactured and marketed in hundreds of variations, and representing the economic, social, technical and artistic discourses of the times: the conception of artis­tic and design work, the relations between unique, individually made pieces and anonymous mass production, between form and ornament.

Why did the still popular spray-­decorated ceramics suddenly vanish from the market in the mid­-1930s? What is their place in – or in relation to – the classical modern canon? What connection is there between these designs and the pictorial motifs of the avant­-garde art that came to be denounced as »degenerate« by the National Socialists?

The exhibition examines these questions in hundreds of specimens from private collections.

Werkbund Archive – Museum of Things
Oranienstraße 25
10999 Berlin

+49 (30) 92 10 63-11
+49 (30) 92 10 63-12
12:00 - 19:00
Tuesday - Wednesday
Thursday - Sunday
12:00 - 19:00
Admission price
6,00 €
Reduced price
4,00 €


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