Coverbild Otti Berger
Otti Berger
Weaving for Modernist Architecture
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Edited by: Judith Raum, Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / Museum für Gestaltung
Texts by: Esther Cleven, Magdalena Droste, Tanya Harrod, Juliet Kinchin, Corinna Rader, Judith Raum, Katja Stelz
Graphic Design: Lamm & Kirch
Institution: Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / Museum für Gestaltung
Photographs: Uta Neumann
March 2024 , 352 Pages , 500 Ills.
Quarterbound Hardcover
320mm x 228mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-5500-9
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The Fabric of Modern Life
Otti Berger created fabrics that fundamentally changed the understanding of what textiles could be and do. A core member of the experimental approach to textiles at the Bauhaus, she was also a female entrepreneur in the frenzied time that was the early 1930s in Berlin. Working closely with architects of the New Objectivity movement such as Lilly Reich, Ludwig Hilberseimer and Hans Scharoun, she designed upholstery and wall tapestries, curtains and floor coverings that responded to novel types of use and production methods, and thereby redefined the relationship between aesthetics and function―with fascinating results. To date Berger’s textile work has only been explored in fragments. This book is the first comprehensive study of its complexity and beauty and makes her hitherto unpublished treatise on fabrics and the methodology of textile production accessible. Raum’s research offers an entirely new perspective on Berger’s oeuvre.

Image credits © Uta Neumann © Florian de Brün

OTTI BERGER (1898–1944) was one of the most important textile designers of the 20th century. Born in Zmajevac, in the Austro- Hungarian Empire, present-day Croatia, she studied in Zagreb and from 1927 at the Bauhaus in Dessau. Leaving her teaching post at the Bauhaus, she set up her own business in Berlin in 1932 to design fabrics for modern interiors, but was banned from working due to her Jewish heritage in 1936. Attempts to escape to England and the USA failed. She was deported from Croatia to Auschwitz and was murdered there in 1944.

In cooperation with the Bauhaus Archive Berlin, visual artist and art historian JUDITH RAUM (*1977) has conducted intensive research in European and North American archives to complete the first comprehensive study of Berger’s scattered estate.
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