Neue Galerie, Kassel



The exhibition "bauhaus | documenta. Vision and Brand" reflects for the first time the Bauhaus and documenta in comparison. This year’s 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus provides an opportunity to look at the development of both institutions, which have become cultural brands, and to question them critically at the same time: Where do the brands remain true to themselves as a commitment to innovation and progress, where are they part of an interest-guided appropriation? In this way, the exhibition also offers an insight into the role and function that art and culture can play in a society today.


Based on installations, documentary objects, statistical material and some high-quality original artworks, the exhibition creates a parkour across seven thematic spaces, ranging from the emergence and initial visions of both cultural institutions to today's reception. Among the artists on display are Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Bazon Brock, Hans Haacke, Wassily Kandinsky, Barbara Klemm, Aleksandr Ptuschko and Gilles Raynaldy.


The exhibition is accompanied by a virtual exhibition under the title "How much Bauhaus is in documenta? A search for clues and a publication that brings together all project components and will be published by Spector Books in May. In addition, Heinz Bude is organizing a symposium under the title "Have we really never been modern?  Bauhaus and documenta in true affinity" taking place at the Kunsthochschule Kassel from14-15 June 2019).



On the theoretical discourse

Two cultural brands and their development. The conceptual reflections on the exhibition and its contents


Bauhaus and documenta are two globally successful cultural brands that stand for a cosmopolitan, innovative and modern Germany. Both were created against the backdrop of civil disruptions - both exemplify the idea of the emancipative power of art and culture, which enrich the lives of the individual, reflect social coexistence and promote social progress.


While the Bauhaus wanted to confront the crisis of industrialization and the damage caused by the First World War through the design of things, spaces and buildings, documenta took up the romantic idea of dealing with visual art, through which people should once again become responsible citizens. While the Bauhaus wanted to "intervene" in the future of our public and private lives, as a result of as well as in addition to its artistic engagement with products, and quickly developed itself into a brand with many sub-brands, documenta had to repeatedly "work through" its significance as a brand until today. This at the interface to marketing and the demands of its own successful "profitability" - and protect its own autonomy. Although both were and are subject to a variety of changes in their different developments, their demands have remained and continue to shape the perception and self-image of both brands - in their motifs, strategies and successes.


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A project of the documenta archiv and the University of Kassel in cooperation with Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel


Project heads

Birgit Jooss, Philipp Oswalt


Curators of the exhibition

Philipp Oswalt, Daniel Tyradellis


Curator of the virtual exhibition

Birgit Jooss


Conception of the symposium

Heinz Bude


Press contact

documenta and Museum Fridericianum gGmbH

Johanna Köhler

T +49 561 70727-2520