By Melissa Venator
Available July 2018
66 pages; 8 1/2 × 11 in.
38 color illustrations
Published by Harvard Art Museums
The first English-language publication on Carl Grossberg, a Bauhaus-trained painter and interior designer celebrated for his scenes of industry and architecture in interwar Germany.
With a diverse practice that included painting, commercial illustration, and interior design and subjects ranging from steam engines to surrealist inventions, German artist Carl Grossberg (1894–1940) was inspired by the sights and sounds of the machine age. Born in the factory town of Elberfeld and educated at the Bauhaus as a member of its inaugural class, Grossberg fulfilled the Bauhaus credo of integrating art theory and workshop practice to transform daily life. For Grossberg, that meant a growing fascination in the late 1920s with the visual culture of heavy industry. His meticulous depictions of complex machines and vast factories document the raw power that drove Germany’s interwar economic recovery and revel in technology’s graceful beauty.
Offering the first English-language examination of Grossberg’s life and work, this publication traces the development of the artist’s engagement with technology and industry, from early cityscapes to iconic machine portraits of the 1930s. This comprehensive overview of Grossberg’s career was made possible by Merrill C. Berman, who has assembled the largest collection of Grossberg’s work outside Germany and is a longtime supporter of modern European art at Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum.
This publication complements the installation Carl Grossberg: Selections from the Merrill C. Berman Collection, on view at the Harvard Art Museums from August 4, 2017 through July 22, 2018.
Melissa Venator is the 2016–19 Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow in the Busch-Reisinger Museum.
Support for the publication and installation was provided by Merrill C. Berman and by the Charles L. Kuhn Endowment Fund. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.
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