Widely known for his pioneer exhibition designs and for being a participant in creating new museal spaces, Arnold Bode (1900-1977) was the co-founder of a private gallery in the 1960s. The so called “göppinger galerie” of the Göppinger Kaliko- and Kunstleder-Werke was founded in Frankfurt in 1956. At the time of the first documenta Bode worked together with the company, too. They produced the white, grey and black plastics which covered the destroyed walls of the Fridericianum and by doing so, they became an integral contributor in planning the exhibition design.

Designed as a museum like exhibition room, the “göppinger galerie”, abbreviated form “gg”, opened in the new office building of the architect Otto Apel (1906-1966) in the Berliner Straße 27 in Frankfurt. Initially planned as a showroom and to present the range of products of the Göppinger Kaliko- and Kunstleder-Werke and of other companies, the gallery exhibited furniture design and architects plans. Thereby, they tried to represent the new form of living. The topical range of the exhibitions included the whole field of the form design and its use and was broadened by the facets of art and cultural topics.  

So, as a part of the various art exhibitions of the “göppinger galerie” the solo exhibition “Fritz Winter: Göppinger Galerie from July 17 to August 8, 1959” was curated by Arnold Bode himself. Its 15-page long exhibition catalogue belongs to the Bode estate of the documenta archiv. But how is the work of the artist connected to the use of forms in furniture design or even to the new form of living? In the preface of the catalogue, Dr. Herbert Müller outlines the importance of analyzing the form design in order to develop new products for the Göppinger Kaliko- and Kunstleder-Werke. Consequently, the artistic position of Fritz Winter (1905-1968) which deals with the analysis of form-design and its use, would have a great impact on the composition of design. The comment of Will Grohmann (1887-1968) underlines this statement and emphasizes the need to reflect the form-design of Fritz Winter in an exhibition. An insight into the letters of war by Fritz Winter intensifies the previous comments.

After ordering, every exhibition catalogue of the “göppinger galerie” which is part of the Bode estate can be consulted in the reading room.


Laura Diermann