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Teresa Schmittroth
Bauhaus Studies, (verso)
Mixed media, (70 studies in 3 plexi and metal display cases)

Dimensions variable
Artisan, 180 Main Street, Beacon, NY [Interior view]

Windows on Main Street

Detail Views:

"Phases of the Moon Spinning Top"
"Suspended Spheres"
"Fortune Teller with Color Choices"
See also: Recto view

About the Work

Based in part on Schmittroth’s own interest in conceptual art, its history and contemporary context, she  began looking into the course structure at the Bauhaus School of the 1920s-1930s. Founded in Weimer in 1919 by German architect Walter Gropius, "its core objective was a radical concept: to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts. In the Proclamation of the Bauhaus (1919), Gropius described a utopian craft guild combining architecture, sculpture, and painting into a single creative expression."  [Griffith Winton, Alexandra. "The Bauhaus, 1919-1933". Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.] When the Bauhaus disbanded due to the Nazis in 1933, the artists moved across the globe, eventually establishing new architecture, art forms and movements worldwide.

The Bauhaus participants included many pioneering artists and architects of the 20th Century: Albers, (Schmittroth’s own Color Theory professor was taught by Albers later), Breuer, Gropius, Itten, Kandindsky, Klee, Mies van der Rohe, Moholy-Nagy, Mondrian and other highly respected artists of the day. Foundation courses at the Bauhaus included, in part, studies in the primary colors: red, yellow, blue, and the basic shapes: square, triangle and circle. Exercises in paper-cutting, collage, color theory, and design were implemented in a vast curriculum.

In this series of Bauhaus ’towers’ each section is occupied by a small study: folded paper, collage, drawing, etc. Each study is based in part on the Bauhaus curriculum and subsequent related movements, but also based on the history and progression of the artist’s own work. The geometric grid gouaches, in books, track Bingo scratch-off results, an ongoing study.  As a child, Schmittroth made folded paper fortune tellers, cootie catchers (cootie, from Malay and Tagalog, kutu, for lice). They also appear in Paul Klee’s drawing examining "progressions within the normal inner stress relationships of the elementary form" (in this case, a square), and in a folded paper study for Josef Albers’ preliminary course at the Bauhaus. The display cases were "found" and are reminiscent of Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building.


About the Artist:

A conceptual artist, Teresa Schmittroth explores time-based and sequence-defined subjects, working in a broad range of media.  Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1956 she is a long time New York resident who lives and works in Beacon. Her artwork has been exhibited in New York, NY at The Drawing Center, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Queens Museum and White Columns.  In Beacon, she has exhibited at the Howland Cultural Center and with Windows on Main Street. Her artwork is included in the collection of the Queens Museum and numerous private collections.

Ms. Schmittroth is the Executive Director of Art in Context, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing public access to information concerning artists and arts organizations worldwide. In addition, she is an independent curator and archivist.

Bauhaus Studies, 2015
Mixed media, (70 studies in 3 plexi and metal display cases)
Dimensions variable (Each display case 48 x 10 x 10")
at Artisan, WOMS2015, August 8 - September 12, 2015

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