Bruno Paul: The Life and Work of a Pragmatic Modernist (Hardback)William Owen Harrod (author)
Hardback 160 Pages / Published: 20/01/2005
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At the dawn of the 20th century, Bruno Paul (1874-1968) stood like a colossus astride the landscape of an emerging Modernism. As an illustrator, architect and educator his influence was unequalled. Arguably the most important German designer of his generation, his work was ubiquitous in the technical and professional publications of his day. For five decades, Pauls reputation was unparalleled among progressive German artists. As a young man he was a member of the Munich avant-garde responsible for the creation of the Jugendstil. As a designer of furniture and interiors, he achieved a commercial success unmatched by his illustrious contemporaries. In the light of his professional accomplishments, he was the most influential German architect of his generation, a figure of international significance. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Adolf Meyer and Kem Weber were among his students, and their work developed from the practices of his atelier. Indeed, as director of the Vereinigte Staatsschulen fur freie und angewandte Kunst in Berlin he presided over an institution that rivaled the Bauhaus as a centre of progressive instruction in the arts. Despite the renown he enjoyed at the height of his career, Pauls name has been largely absent from the standard histories of the modern movement. Indeed, this book is the first comprehensive study of his life and work. Nevertheless, Pauls story embodies a significant facet of the history of 20th-century design: the development of Modernism in Central Europe and its coalescence from the influences of Jugendstil, Elementarism, Classicism, Expressionism and Functionalism. Paul played a prominent role in this coalescence, and he deserves a place of honour in the history of the modern movement. Yet his biography also encompasses a less familiar, but no less significant, aspect of the history of modern design. It is the story of a pragmatic Modernism that occupied a middle ground between avant-garde experimentation and conservative professional practice, a Modernism that was timeless, practical and principled. It was this pragmatic Modernism that won the patronage of the middle classes and established progressive design as an accepted alternative, and eventually as the preferred alternative to the period styles. Moreover Pauls pragmatic Modernism, and its underlying principles, remain as relevant today as when they were first conceived.
Publisher: Edition Axel Menges
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 917 g
Dimensions: 293 x 242 x 15 mm
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