In his own lifetime, Swiss artist Xanti Schawinsky was best known for the theatrical work he developed at the Bauhaus. During his Bauhaus years Schawinsky made albums of collaged photographs and papers, personal as well as artistic. Xanti Schawinsky: The Album is based on the albums Schawinsky conceived during his tenure in the Bauhaus theater department, working documents which provide clues to his later work at Black Mountain College and beyond. This volume presents a wealth of previously unpublished photographs and documents from this formative stage in Schawinsky’s development, offering the first opportunity to explore this material in a format reproducing that of the original album. Xanti Schawinsky: The Album is published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies in collaboration with the artist’s estate.
Though perhaps best known for his Bauhaus work, Xanti (Alexander) Schawinsky (1904–79) had a long and varied career after he fled Germany before the beginning of the Second World War. Leaving the Bauhaus when it closed in 1933, Schawinsky landed at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. It was there that Schawinsky developed his theory of the “Spectodrama,” producing proto-“happenings” exploring phenomena such as space, motion, light, sound and color from scientific and performance-based perspectives. Yet protracted legal disputes over the artist’s estate meant that Schawinsky’s pioneering work was until recently almost inaccessible.