As the centennial of the Bauhaus draws nearer, the art world grows smaller. Here at Bauhaus 100: Aspen our neighbors at Colorado Public Radio and the Kirkland Museum for Fine & Decorative Art have helped us plan the perfect Bauhaus field trip to Denver.
Earlier this month CPR featured the story of Herbert Bayer’s stand-alone piece, the ‘Articulated Wall’ in Denver. An iconic but little-understood sight in the city’s downtown, the 85-foot sculpture was Bayer’s final commissioned piece to be completed before his death in Los Angeles in 1985.
Denver’s ‘Articulated Wall’ actually is not the first of its kind. Bayer’s original piece ‘Muro Articulado’ stands in Mexico City, where it was commissioned as part of the 1968 Olympic summer games village. The piece, about 20 feet shorter than its Denver counterpart, was in a state of disrepair until its restoration and relocation in 2013 with the support of the World Monuments Fund and American Express.
‘Muro Articulado’ in Mexico DF 2012 just before its restoration as part of the WMF-Amex Ruta de la Amistad project. Photo by Gary Hustwit and part of The Olympic City project.
Bayer designed the Denver piece with a “maximum view… [that] changes radically when directly passing it.” Pedestrians and automotive passengers experience and interact with the sculptures uniquely, characteristic of Bayer’s notion of functional beauty in an industrial world. Bauhaus seekers can visit ‘Articulated Wall’ behind the Denver Design District, and readers can learn about the importance of the piece from CPR’s Stephanie Wolf and DAM’s curator Gwen Chanzit.
The next stop on our Denver Bauhaus field trip is the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art. The museum’s recently-completed new building is now open about two miles due north of ‘Articulated Wall.’
The Kirkland has loaned pieces of its myriad collection to institutions such as Germany’s Frankfurter Kunstverein and Düsseldorf Stadtmuseum and the U.S. Embassy in Vienna. At the Kirkland’s new home in Denver, visitors can view iconic original pieces from Mies van der Rohe, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer and more. Find them mixed in among stellar pieces from other movements influenced by the Bauhaus such as de Stijl and International Style.
Van der Rohe’s Model MR-534 Armchair and Grete Mark’s Teapot as found at the Kirkland Museum.
Find Herbert Bayer’s ‘Articulated Wall’ behind the Denver Design District at 595 S Broadway, and visit the Kirkland Museum’s collection at 1201 Bannock in Denver. Be sure to tell us about your experience on our Facebook and Instagram!