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.

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