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Bruno Paul - The Life and Work of a Pragmatic Modernist

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At the dawn of the 20th century, Bruno Paul (1874–1968) stood like
a colossus astride the landscape of an emerging Modernism. As
an illustrator, architect and educator his influence was unequalled.
Arguably the most important German designer of his generation,
his work was ubiquitous in the technical and professional publications
of his day. For five decades, Paul’s reputation was unparalleled
among progressive German artists. As a young man he was
a member of the Munich avant-garde responsible for the creation
of the Jugendstil. As a designer of furniture and interiors, he
achieved a commercial success unmatched by his illustrious contemporaries.
In the light of his professional accomplishments, he
was the most influential German architect of his generation, a figure
of international significance. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Adolf
Meyer and Kem Weber were among his students, and their work
developed from the practices of his atelier. Indeed, as director of
the Vereinigte Staatsschulen für freie und angewandte Kunst in
Berlin he presided over an institution that rivaled the Bauhaus as
a center of progressive instruction in the arts.
Despite the renown he enjoyed at the height of his career, Paul’s
name has been largely absent from the standard histories of the
modern movement. Indeed, this book is the first comprehensive
study of his life and work. Nevertheless, Paul’s story embodies a
significant facet of the history of 20th-century design: the development
of Modernism in Central Europe and its coalescence from
the influences of Jugendstil, Elementarism, Classicism, Expressionism
and Functionalism. Paul played a prominent role in this coalescence,
and he deserves a place of honor in the history of the modern
movement. Yet his biography also encompasses a less familiar,
but no less significant, aspect of the history of modern design. It
is the story of a pragmatic Modernism that occupied a middle
ground between avant-garde experimentation and conservative
professional practice, a Modernism that was timeless, practical
and principled. It was this pragmatic Modernism that won the
patronage of the middle classes and established progressive
design as an accepted alternative, and eventually as the preferred
alternative to the period styles. Moreover Paul’s pragmatic Modernism,
and its underlying principles, remain as relevant today
as when they were first conceived.
William Owen Harrod is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology and the University of Texas at Austin, where he
received his doctorate in architectural history. He is a practicing
architect, theoretician and historian, based in Austin, Texas.


Titel: Bruno Paul - The Life and Work of a Pragmatic Modernist
Autoren/Herausgeber: William Owen Harrod
Ausgabe: Neuausgabe

ISBN/EAN: 9783932565472

Seitenzahl: 128
Format: 28,5 x 23,3 cm
Produktform: Buch
Sprache: Englisch - Newsletter
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