Saturday, April 30, 2016

Oskar Schlemmer and the Triadic Ballet

 I fell down the most satisfying internet rabbit hole I think I have ever experienced.  It was a pure spiral, I was looking up a painter when I happened upon the image below, left.  I clicked and clicked and ended up watching a remake of Oskar Schlemmer's Triadic Ballet with my mouth wide open.

Schlemmer was a Bauhaus teacher in the 20s who did painting and theatre and much experimental work.  He debuted his Triadic Ballet in 1922(pictured above) with its emphasis on form, structure and movement through space.  The figure below, right just got me immediately.  The aesthetics of this thing!  All contemporary MFAs in performance art and all children's TV show producers should be required to watch (I'm looking at you Fresh Beat Band, you god awful thing, my nephew will never get that hour of his life back...)

Below is a 1968 reconstruction by Margarete Hasting, Franz Schömbs, and Georg Verden which allows an understanding of the color.  And here is an article with some further info.


 Schlemmer's biography doesn't end well.  As a progressive German artist his work was deemed degenerate by the Nazis and he was pushed out.  Apparently his work stopped in this troubled time and he died in 1943 after 10 years of little work and illness.  What a mind ahead of its time, playful and precise.  To not find curiosity and beauty but fear in the bizarre and challenging is a terrible thing I hope this country can remember.


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