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The word Vkhutemas is used often to refer as the "Russian Bauhaus" a school of Modernism in the 20s.
The exhibition displays an important sampling from this school, with a main focus on architecture for the first time in Germany. 250 works are shown containing: sketches, drawings, paintings and models by staff and students.
In the 20s, several faculties received instruction for students to create workshops (Wood, Metal, Textiles, Printmaking, Ceramics but also Painting, Sculpture, Architecture). The staff of the school was partly composed with famous artists and architects: El Lissitzky, Naum Gabo, Moisei Ginzburg, Gustav Klutsis, Wassily Kandinsky, Nikolai Ladovsk, Alexander Melnikov, Lyubov Popova, Alexander Rodchenko, Alexei Shchusev, Varvara Stepanova, Vladimir Tatlin and Alexander Vesnin.
The movement brought a revolutionary renewal of the relationship between art and society as well as some bitter disputes that broke out over the “right” course, llustrating, often in extreme form, the credos of the conflicting tendencies at the Vkhutemas. The influence of the Vkhutemas extended far beyond the borders of Soviet Russia. There were contacts with the Bauhaus, which had been founded in Weimar in 1919 before moving to Dessau.
After a decade of work, the school closed down in 1930 and the Architectural Faculty was merged with the Higher Engineering and Architectural Institute, later the Moscow Architectural Institute. The Russian avant-garde lost its influence and was radically sidelined in favour of “Socialist Realism”. There would no longer be any place for Constructivist concepts in Russia’s new planned economy.