new-york

Oskar Schlemmer

Spencer Samuels Gallery

For the casual American student, Oskar Schlemmer is practically an unknown, a reputation built on the fame of a single canvas, the Bauhaus Staircase of 1932. English material on Schlemmer is limited: his journal remains to be translated but the essential essay Mensch und Kunstfigur has been (see The Theatre of the Bauhaus, Wesleyan University Press, 1961). The Gropius-Bayer history of the Bauhaus emphasizes the issues covered by Schlemmer’s stage theory as do Roters’ and Wingler’s recent popularizations. Therefore, a survey of Schlemmer’s paintings, sculptures and drawings, as well as the able catalog by Dr. Karin von Maur, is of great importance. The image of Schlemmer as the painter of a single masterpiece remains unchanged because of this event—although his reputation as a sculptor has been considerably enlarged. It is telling, of course, that Schlemmer was drawn to relief sculpture.

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.