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Xanti Schawinsky, The Aviator (Faces of War), 1942, watercolor and pen on paper, 28 7/8 × 21". From the series “Faces of War,” 1942. © The Xanti Schawinsky Estate.

Xanti Schawinsky

Drawing Center

Xanti Schawinsky, The Aviator (Faces of War), 1942, watercolor and pen on paper, 28 7/8 × 21". From the series “Faces of War,” 1942. © The Xanti Schawinsky Estate.

Xanti Schawinsky, a Swiss-born Polish Jew, studied at the Bauhaus under that oft-recited pantheon of modern masters—Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer—and took a bit from each. Already trained in architecture before arriving in Weimar, Schawinsky worked in everything over the course of his long career, from theater and music to photography, painting, and graphic design. This great variety, not only in form but also in style—he moved easily from photograms to de Chirico–esque dreamscapes to painterly abstraction—has made Schawinsky difficult to place in standard histories of the Bauhaus, if not in art history more generally. Two recent exhibitions, at the Drawing Center and Broadway 1602, respectively, help put his contributions into relief.

The exhibition at the Drawing Center, which remains on view until December 14, presents nine drawings from

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