Marcel Breuer

Marcel Breuer (22 May 1902 – 1 July 1981), was a Hungarian-born modernist architect and furniture designer. One of the masters of Modernism, Breuer extended the sculptural vocabulary he had developed in the carpentry shop at the Bauhaus into a personal architecture that made him one of the world’s most popular architects at the peak of 20th-Century design. Breuer left his hometown at the age of 18 in search of artistic training and was one of the first and youngest students at the Bauhaus– a radical arts and crafts school that Walter Gropius had founded in Weimar just after the first World War. He was recognized by Gropius as a significant talent and was quickly put at the head of the Carpentry Shop. After the school had moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925, Breuer returned from a brief sojourn in Paris to join older faculty members such as Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee as a master,eventually teaching in its newly established department of architecture. First recognized for his invention of bicycle-handlebar-inspired tubular steel furniture, Breuer lived off his design fees at a time in the late 1920s and early 1930s when the architectural commissions he was looking for were few and far-between. He was known to such giants as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, whose architectural vocabulary he was later to adapt as part of his own, but hardly considered an equal by men who were his senior by15 and 16 years. Despite the widespread popular belief that the chair was designed for Wassily Kandinsky, it was not; Kandinsky admired Breuer's finished chair design, and only then did Breuer make an additional copy for Kandinsky's use in his home. When the chair was re-released in the 1960s, it was designated "Wassily" by its Italian manufacturer, who had learned that Kandinsky had been the recipient of one of the earliest post-prototype units. In the 1930s, due to the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, Breuer relocated to London. While in London, Breuer designed his Long Chair as well as experimenting with bent and formed plywood. Between 1935 and 1937 he worked in practice with the English Modernist F. R. S. Yorke with whom he designed a number of houses. He is considered one of the masters of Modernism.

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