Vortrag: From Recognition to Rejection – Hannes Meyer and the Reception of the Bauhaus in the Soviet Union
bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away. The Internationalist Architect · Ausstellung und öffentliches Programm
15. September 2018 · Moskau, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
The history of the Stalinist critique of the Bauhaus and Hannes Meyer has two chapters. The first chapter spans the time from 1929 to the Architects’ Congress in the Soviet Union in 1937; the second consists in the condemnation of the Bauhaus in the GDR that took place on the trip by East German architects to Moscow in spring of 1950.
This history has two protagonists: Hannes Meyer and Arkady Mordvinov. While both had close ties during the first phase—Meyer himself served as a key witness to overcoming the Bauhaus—in 1950/51, Meyer stood in the ideological dock for a position that he believed to have long left behind in the Soviet Union, without being able to partake in the discussion. His former fellow traveller and student, Mordvinov, at that point the president of the Soviet Academy of Architecture, had become his judge. Whatever shady political tricks Meyer might have played, no matter how strongly he may have been involved in political intrigues and disappointed his fellow travellers,1 he was not capable of capitulating as an architect. That is also a reason why very few of his buildings were realised. In this text, I limit myself to the first chapter of this history