Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kurt Kranz, “20 Pictures from the Life of a Composition,” 1927-28

A double-sided leporello (the first two rows are the first side, rows three and four the second side). Kurt Kranz was a student at the Bauhaus (though it seems he made this at the age of seventeen, before starting at the Bauhaus), where he took course with Paul Klee and Kandinsky. In the introduction to the anthology, I speculated that his interest in abstract sequential art may have influenced his teachers.

And from the recent MoMA show, Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, here is Kranz's 1930 Untitled picture series (Project for an abstract color film):


  1. This is very interesting. When I think of the Bauhaus, I usually think of linear and geometric art, so it's nice to see something so organic.

  2. Wow! He did these when he was seventeen?

  3. I enjoy the clear sequentiality of these, and that the "abstract" aspect suggests deeper psychological...exploration.

    I agree with FW, this doesn't look like anything I'd expect of a Bauhaus artist. What did Kranz do later? Did Bauhaus stifle the imagination we see trying to find its freedom here?

  4. Well, he did do a much more purely geometric, black and white piece at the Bauhaus (Picture Sequence: Black: White), four panels of which I illustrated in the intro to the anthology. I personally think that's his best work, actually... But later he also did some more Klee-ish pieces, and his later sequences are not that far from the more organic aspect of this early work. When I get a chance, I will scan and post some more.


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