DESIGNER ANNE BREUX REPORTS FROM EUROPE
Less is More, Except With the Grand Textiles of Paris
By Anne Breux
Another trip overseas, another chance to share my discoveries with you.
IMM Cologne, Germany
The international furniture fair was the right place to study the immense influence of the Bauhaus movement on today’s interiors and the world of design.
In celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary, IMM welcomed us with an impressive mural of sketches by the school’s extraordinary teachers, including Walter Gropius (the school’s founder), Wassily Kandinsky (wall painting), Paul Klee (stained glass and painting), Josef Albers (arts and crafts), Marianne Brandt (metalwork), Marcel Breuer (interiors), and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (the school’s last director).
From one hall to another, the most beautiful vignettes at IMM Cologne were those from manufacturers who edited masterpieces from the Bauhaus era: Knoll, Thonet, and Walter K.
Paris Déco Off 2019
After a bare 30 hours in Cologne, I found myself in Paris again. It was early morning and I was ready to walk from store to store in Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Rue du Mail.
It was the tenth year of the Paris Déco Off and I was ready for another celebration. Textile manufacturers from around the globe were taking over showrooms, art galleries, boutique hotels and the streets, offering us a look at their latest creations. The variety of textures, the scale of patterns, three-dimensional effects and vibrancy of colors have never been so grand. So much for Mies van der Rohe’s “less is more.”
Finally it was back to Villepinte for another take at Maison et Objet, the first edition for 2019. It was all about France, forcing me — somehow — to go back to my roots. Too late, if I recognize the excellence of the Bayou City’s trades, craftsmen and decorators. I feel more at home here in the Houston, in a vibrant city that follows the leadership of Mies.
THE BAUHAUS MOVEMENT
My spotlight this month is on the Bauhaus school of design, architecture and applied arts that opened in Weimar, Germany in 1919. Its influence can be found everywhere, including our own city.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the last director of the Bauhaus school before it closed in 1933, was the architect who designed the modern, curved, glass-enclosed Cullinan Hall for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, giving the city a modern, international flair when the doors opened in 1958. To this day the space remains the central feature of the Caroline Wiess Law Building.
The Bauhaus school moved from Weimar to Dessau to Berlin and eventually closed under pressure from the Nazi government in 1933. As a result, most of the teachers emigrated to the United States and formed new ateliers and firms, with their practices entirely based on the Bauhaus.
Mies, who was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century and one of the founders of modernism, was the first dean of Bauhaus’s school of architecture. His minimalist style and trademark aphorism — “less is more” — remains important today.
During my flight from Houston to Cologne I made a stopover in Washington, D.C.; it was the perfect place to understand the influence of Mies upon the work of architect Eero Saarinen, who infused his own innovative and organic sculptural forms in the TWA Terminal as well as in the Washington Dulles International Airport.
Design Within Reach
Knoll Houston Showroom
(Marcel Breuer design)
2229 San Felipe, Suite 900
Scott + Cooner, Inc. - Austin
115 West 8th Street
5120 Woodway, Suite 4018