Xanti Schawinsky “Head Drawings and Faces of War”

The Drawing Center

poster for Xanti Schawinsky “Head Drawings and Faces of War”

This event has ended.

First generation Bauhaus artist Alexander ‘Xanti’ Schawinsky’s prolific oeuvre encompasses a range of social and political investigations. Schawinsky spent a lifetime relocating—from Switzerland to Germany to Italy to the United States—and, in the process, developed his central themes, which include the nature of identity, the responsibility of the individual, and the repercussions of machine warfare. His Bauhaus training is manifested in his work’s complex interpretation of the interrelationship among art, craft, and design, and his practice comprised a number of artistic realms, including avant-garde theater, experimental photography, the Bauhaus Jazz band, mechanical music and dance, and graphic design.

The Drawing Center’s exhibition will focus on Schawinsky’s work on paper from the 1940s, particularly the Head Series and Faces of War. These works, including several “War Heads” and “Theme and Variation on a Face: Walter Gropius,” break from the utopian optimism of the early Bauhaus and its later iterations in the United States. Schawinsky’s 1940s series reveal the existential struggle of an artist informed by Bauhaus idealism coping with the devastation of war. His “faces of war” are man/machine hybrids, at once disturbingly robotic and representative of the threat of human self-destruction. These images have been interpreted as depicting either an aggressive enemy or a powerful avenger; perhaps, they bespeak an identity that encompasses both.



from September 19, 2014 to December 14, 2014

Opening Reception on 2014-09-18 from 18:00 to 20:00

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