Xanti Schawinsky 1904-1979

Xanti Schawinsky (1904 - 1979) was born in Basel, Switzerland and died in Locarno, Switzerland. An original member of the Bauhaus Dessau, Alexander - nicknamed Xanti - Schawinsky significantly formed the modern world of performance art, painting and design through his work in painting, photomontage, and theatre.
While at the Bauhaus he studied painting with Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, theater arts with Oskar Schlemmer, color with Josef Albers, photography and design with László Moholy-Nagy, and he became close friends with founder Walter Gropius. Connecting to the foundational ideas of the Bauhaus, Schawinsky’s experimental Sphere paintings are made up of crisp, clean lines often forming simplified round shapes and composed of several transparent layers conveying a three dimensional depth. Similarly, his black-and-white photomontages, early experiments into the form, flow together in an almost cinematic blur of movement.
While working as a professor at Black Mountain College, Schawinsky’s seminal Spectodrama concept was materialized as a radically visually-orientated reinterpretation of performance, which gave basis and inspiration for early Happenings and the work of John Cage and Merce Cunningham. As a pioneer in various media and fields of art, Schawinsky constantly sought out new and innovative ways of expression. Schawinsky has had exhibitions at Migros Museum, Zurich, Kunsthaus Zurich, Hammer museum, Los Angeles, ICA Boston and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, amongst others. A retrospective at Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg is upcoming.