Beyond the Bauhaus: Richard Filipowski

Comparing to his peers, mid-century American modernists, Richard Filipowski (1923-2008) has remained relatively unknown. A new monograh ‘Richard Filipowski, Art and Design Beyond the Bauhaus,’ edited by Marisa Bartolucci, with a foreword by Hattula Moholy-Nagy (published by Monacelli Press), comes to illuminate this unforgotten figure and to elaborate on his multifaceted career. A graduate from the unique Institute of Design (formerly the New Bauhaus) in Chicago, he studied under Bauhaus master Moholy-Nagy, and then developed the brilliant course of design fundamentals at Harvard, based on the Bauhaus methodology, putting the foundation to much of design education throughout the last century. Through the various chapters of the book, we learn that Filipowski was active in a variety of fields, as a graphic designer, furniture, jewelry, sculpture, and painting. The most visible and powerful body of work, I found in a series of sculptures in bronze and silver in the form of bushes, different, but reminiscent of what Harry Bertoia is known for, which I saw in a wonderful little exhibition at Hostler Burrows, the gallery representing Filipowski’s estate. All image are courtesy of Hostler Burrows, photo credit: Robert J Levin. 

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