Bauhaus and Johannes Itten

When the Bauhaus was founded, Johannes Itten (1888-1967) had already adopted a radical position as an artist in his pursuit of the uttermost dematerialisation of individual objects, and he formulated this idea programmatically in the famous Bauhaus almanack Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit. Key exhibition pieces are his newly researched diaries and sketchbooks. They were integral to his artistic practice from 1913 onward and have never been shown on such a broad scope before. They not only help us understand his art-theoretical reflections on colour but also his thoughts on the principles of art and his hitherto unknown study of the old masters.

The exhibition retraces his development from his beginnings in Switzerland through the periods he spent in Stuttgart, Vienna, Weimar and Herrliberg, also covering his pursuits in Berlin, Krefeld and Amsterdam. This comprehensive presentation presents a new angle on his hitherto concealed understanding of the world and on his artistic working processes that were based thereon.