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Erich Dieckmann, Drei Stühle, Detail, 1925-1935
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek / Dietmar Katz
Dieckmann und Schüler*innen testen seine Gartenmöbel aus Korbgeflecht, um 1931, Bernhard von Brandenstein, Katharina Dieckmann, Erich Dieckmann und Hela Jöns (v.l.n.r.)
© Sammlung Stadtarchiv Halle (Saale) / Finsler
Xue Song, DYSTA, 2021
© Xue Song / CHOREO, Roman Häbler & Lars-Ole Bastar
Erich Dieckmann, Sessel Nr. 8219, Ausführung: Cebaso, Ohrdruf i.Thüringen, 1930–1931, vernickeltes Stahlrohr, Eisengarnstoff
© GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Leipzig / Christoph Sandig
Erich Dieckmann, Komposition von farbigen Elementen, 1931-1933, Bleistift, Pinsel, Aquarell auf Papier
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek / Dietmar Katz
Erich Dieckmann, Tischuhr, 1931
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstgewerbemuseum / Hans-Joachim Bartsch
Erich Dieckmann, Stahlrohrstuhl Nr. 8315
© Archiv Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle / Michel Klehm

For the first time in over 30 years, a major solo exhibition is dedicated to the furniture designer, Bauhäusler and Burg teacher Erich Dieckmann (1896-1944). With around 120 pieces of furniture, graphics, designs and drawings as well as contemporary positions dealing with Dieckmann's design approaches, the exhibition pays tribute to a formative designer who, like Marcel Breuer, experimented with forms and materials and developed type furniture programs based on strictly geometric forms. The exhibition is on view in Berlin and Halle (Saale), the two cities in which Dieckmann had a significant impact.

Erich Dieckmann and the Bauhaus

Erich Dieckmann came to the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1921 to complete a carpentry apprenticeship. After the Bauhaus moved on to Dessau in 1925, Dieckmann stayed on at the successor institution, the Weimar State Building College under Otto Bartning, and became head of the carpentry workshop there that same year. in 1931 he followed many former Bauhäusler to the Burg Giebichenstein School of Arts and Crafts in Halle (Saale). There he headed the carpentry workshop from 1931 until his dismissal by the National Socialists in 1933. After that, he struggled along, seriously ill, with clerical and consultant jobs until he died in November 1944 at the age of only 48. Dieckmann's attitude and closeness to National Socialism can only be reconstructed in fragments and must therefore be viewed extremely critically.

Exhibition shows Dieckmann's first chair

The exhibition shows Dieckmann's first chair - a wooden chair with rush weave - which he designed as a Bauhaus student in 1923. It is followed by type furniture that he developed around 1930 for the furnishing programs, using it to furnish entire rooms, such as workrooms, living rooms and bedrooms. The accompanying designs and historical photographs comment on the construction or the placement and effect of the furniture in the room. However, Dieckmann does not stop at the strongly geometric designs, but subsequently shows curvilinear models as evidenced by his bentwood, tubular steel and wicker furniture.

Extensive drawing estate

Other exhibits come from Erich Dieckmann's drawing estate, acquired by the Art Library, which comprises around 1,600 objects and was digitized and scientifically indexed from 2017 to 2019 with funding from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Among the objects from the estate on display in the exhibition are Dieckmann's composition studies and designs for numerous pieces of furniture, as well as watercolor sheets of ideal furnishing situations. In conjunction with the furniture, the drawings allow the viewer to experience the entire creative process - from the initial, often abstract formal idea to the creative and functional formulation to the ready-to-use object.

Contemporaries around Erich Dieckmann

The section "The Others" complements the exhibition with Erich Dieckmann's contemporaries and presents designers who, like Dieckmann, were active in the period between the First and Second World Wars. Furniture and design objects by Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, Eckart Muthesius and others were selected from the rich collection of the Museum of Decorative Arts to demonstrate the versatility of furniture styles around 1930.

"Living like Dieckmann"

In the third section of the exhibition, "Living like Dieckmann," contemporary artist Margit Jäschke and designer Stephan Schulz demonstrate how Dieckmann's designs can be further developed for the 21st century in a sustainable, artistic and useful way. Furniture by Erich Dieckmann was reproduced and restaged in a kind of living room.

SEATING revisited

In the fourth part of the exhibition, "SITZEN neu betrachtet" ("SITTING revisited"), the students of Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle deal with the former teacher of their school. In several semester projects, they developed works that follow Dieckmann's work into the present.

A special exhibition of the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Art Library - National Museums in Berlin in cooperation with the Art Foundation of the State of Saxony-Anhalt and the Burg Giebichenstein Academy of Art Halle

The exhibition is sponsored by the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

The exhibition will be on view in Halle (Saale) until March 27, 2022, after which it will be shown in an expanded form at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin.

Exhibition catalog

A catalog accompanying the exhibition has been published by Mitteldeutscher Verlag (208 pages, ISBN 978-3-96311-643-8, 30 euros).


Translated with DeepL

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