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In Advance of the Upcoming Sale Villa Grisebach Shows Mies van der Rohe and Photography
Berliner Bild-Bericht, Barcelona Pavilion, View from the Illuminable Glass Wall into the Interior, 1929. Vintage. Gelatin silver print. 16,6 x 22,8 cm.
BERLIN.- Icons of the history of architecture on view at Villa Grisebach: A convolute of more than two dozen photographs illustrating the work of the architect Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) will be put on sale during the upcoming photography auction in early June. In advance of the upcoming sales, these photographs will be presented in the exhibition “Mies van der Rohe and Photography” from March 28 to April 11, 2009.

The main lot is a photograph by Curt Rehbein from 1922 showing van der Rohe’s famous model of a glass skyscraper. Van der Rohe developed the glass skyscraper model for a fictive location shortly after the competition for the “Tower House at the Friedrichstraße” (1921). This model was program-matic for the revolutionary handling with the multiplecurved form and the glass material. In addition to this rare print, Villa Grisebach will auction off two original glass negatives, which show the same motif as well as a variation.

The auction’s offering also includes photographs from van der Rohe’s early period in Berlin such as the Weissenhof settlement in Stuttgart from 1927 and the Barcelona pavilion from 1929. Recent scholarship has been debating whether the photographer Sasha Stone took the photographs depicting the Barcelona pavilion. The exceptional quality of the sixteen piece series illustrating the construction of the pavilion at the world exhibition in Barcelona, of which Villa Grisebach will offer eleven motifs during the auction on June 4, 2009, lies in the congenial photographic translation of this key work of modern architecture in the twentieth century. Other works depict the before-mentioned competition entry “Tower House at the Friedrichstraße,” which is also called “Wabe” (comb), the design for the memorial site of the Neue Wache, the residential houses at the Afrikanische Straße, the Lemke house in Hohenschönhausen and the brewery house in Dessau, which was destroyed in the 1970s.

All the works on view originate from the bequest of Eduard Ludwig (1906-1960), an architect and student at the Bauhaus, who had been the assistant of Mies van der Rohe. Both men kept a life-long friendship with each other. Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, Walter Peterhans and, beginning in 1930/31, Mies van der Rohe taught Ludwig at the Bauhaus, who had been a student there since 1928. After earning his degree in 1932, Ludwig at first worked in the building department of the Bauhaus. After the closing of the Bauhaus in September 1932, Ludwig worked at van der Rohe’s office in Berlin and, since 1935, also at the studio of Lilly Reich. Today, documents from Ludwig’s bequest reside in the collections of among others the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Werkbundarchiv, Berlin, the Akademie der Künste, Berlin and the Bauhaus Foundation in Dessau.





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