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Bauhaus 100: Kunstbibliothek presents László Moholy-Nagy and New Typography

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n event not to be missed for the Bauhaus vibe we crave for. To commemorate the “Bauhaus week Berlin 2019,” the Kunstbibliothek presents the historical exhibition room “Where is typography headed?” by Bauhaus artist László Moholy-Nagy.

This pioneering exhibition room, entitled “Wohin geht die typographische Entwicklung?” (Where is typography headed?), was first shown in May 1929 in the Martin-Gropius-Bau as part of the exhibition Neue Typographie (“New Typography”), organized by the Staatliche Kunstbibliothek.

Moholy-Nagy had been invited to design a room presenting the future of typography. He came up with 78 wall charts with photos, texts, and pictures, all of which have been preserved. The exhibition room can, therefore, be shown again, complemented by additional posters, letterheads, and other specimens of Martin Gropius Bau from the Kunstbibliothek collection.

Moreover, well-known posters and advertisements from the Kunstbibliothek collection in the style known as New Typography augment the Moholy-Nagy exhibition.

The selection includes works by Willi Baumeister, A. M. Cassandre, Walter Dexel, Johannes Molzahn, Kurt Schwitters, and Jan Tschichold.

The functional graphic design of New Typography, a style of advertising designed by artists that gained wide acceptance in the 1920s, broke with a long design tradition in the printing trade. Its aim was to create a contemporary design: first by propagating a standardization of fonts and the industrial DIN norms, and second, by promoting ideals of readability, clarity, and directness in keeping with the principles of Constructivist Art.

The exhibition focuses on this large-scale presentation with which artist Moholy-Nagy summed up years of his own teaching work at the Bauhaus and the ideas and visions of New Typography, ranging from Jan Tschichold and Willi Baumeister to Herbert Bayer.

The exhibition program includes evening discussions evaluating Moholy-Nagy’s ideas from a contemporary standpoint. An important part of the program will be the launch of a new publication on Moholy-Nagy’s historical exhibition, edited in collaboration with Gutenberg Design Lab at Mainz University of Applied Sciences notes Kunstbibliothek.

The functional graphic design of New Typography in the 1920s propagated a standardization of fonts and the industrial DIN norms and promoted ideals of readability, clarity, and directness in keeping with the principles of Constructivist Art

Egon Juda, Einladung zur Ausstellung „Neue Typographie“, Berlin 1929 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

László Moholy-Nagy, Wohin geht die typographische Entwicklung, Tafel 1, Fotografie, 1929 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

László Moholy-Nagy, Wohin geht die typographische Entwicklung, Tafel 12, Fotografie, 1929 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

László Moholy-Nagy, Wohin geht die typographische Entwicklung, Tafel 22, Collage, 1929 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

László Moholy-Nagy, Wohin geht die typographische Entwicklung, Tafel 44, Fotografie, 1929 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

This pioneering exhibition room, entitled “Wohin geht die typographische Entwicklung?” (Where is typography headed?), was first shown in May 1929 in the Martin-Gropius-Bau as part of the exhibition Neue Typographie (“New Typography”), organized by the Staatliche Kunstbibliothek.

László Moholy-Nagy, Wohin geht die typographische Entwicklung, Tafel 55, Collage, 1929 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Herbert Bayer, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

László Moholy-Nagy, Wohin geht die typographische Entwicklung, Tafel 58, Collage, 1929 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Herbert Bayer, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Kurt Schwitters, Merz 11 Pelikan Nummer, Zeitschrift, 1924 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Moholy-Nagy had been invited to design a room presenting the future of typography. He came up with 78 wall charts with photos, texts, and pictures, all of which have been preserved.

Otto Baumberger, Marque PKZ, Plakat, 1923 © Nachlass Otto Baumberger / PROLITTERIS, Schweiz

A. M. Cassandre, Étoile du Nord, Plakat, 1927 © Daniel Mouron

Jan Tschichold, Die Frau ohne Namen, Kinoplakat, 1927 © Lilo Tschichold-Link

The Kunstbibliothek is one of the largest museum libraries dedicated to all facets of art history and cultural studies and boasts valuable collections on the history of architecturephotographygraphic designfashionbook art, and media art. Its extremely diverse vast holdings include works in a wide variety of media: first editions and historical postcards, illustrated placards and posters, fashion designs, architectural drawings and models, bequests of photograph collections, and Fluxus assemblages. Together, the library and the various museum collections it contains represent the full spectrum of source material on the history of art.

László Moholy-Nagy and New Typography: A Reconstruction of a Berlin Exhibition from 1929” is on from 29.08.2019 to 15.09.2019. More info here.

Slider captions: Max Burchartz, Schubertfeier der Städtischen Bühnen Essen, Plakat, 1928 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019. László Moholy-Nagy, Malerei Photographie Film Bauhausbuch 8, Probedruck des Buchumschlags, 1925 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. László Moholy-Nagy, Von Material zu Architektur Bauhausbuch 14, Probedruck des Buchumschlags, 1929 © Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.