The Bauhaus is, to this day, still regarded as the nucleus of the early 20th-century German avant-garde, and no artist practised its principles more enthusiastically in the United States than Austrian-born Herbert Bayer (1900-1985). Conceived as an artist utopia, the Bauhaus developed from a “blend of profound depression resulting from the lost war with its breakdown of intellectual and economic life, and the ardent hope and desire to build up to something new from these ruins”.
The history of the Weimer Republic, founded in 1919 as the first German Democracy and the creation of the Bauhaus in the same year were both subject to the slow political decline that carried them to their grave in Berlin in 1933. Though it existed for only 14 years, the ideology carried forth by the Bauhaus would have a profound impact in Europe and the United States.
For more than six decades, Bauhaus ideals stood at the core of Herbert Bayer’s artistic approach believing that art, technology and nature should have unity. Along with his contemporaries (Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy), Bayer believed in the importance of the “total artist” moving between private, autonomous expression and public projects, which made them unique in their creative depth and scope.