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Bauhaus Archive Commemorates Hajo Rose's 100th Anniversary with Exhibition
Hajo Rose, Hochspringer vor dem Prellerhaus, 1930. Silbergelatinepapier, 36,8 x 31,2 cm. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

BERLIN.- ‘Finally – a house made of steel and glass!’ This was the enthusiastic reaction of Hajo Rose (1910 - 1989) to the Bauhaus building in Dessau when he began his studies there in 1930. Rose promoted the methods of the Bauhaus throughout his lifetime: as a lecturer at universities in Amsterdam, Dresden and Leipzig, and also as an artist and photographer. To commemorate his 100th birthday, the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin is showing the first comprehensive retrospective of this Bauhaus designer from 15 September to 8 November 2010, with 80 works from the areas of photography and typography.

Hajo Rose experimented with a wide variety of materials and techniques. The photomontage of his self-portrait combined with the Dessau Bauhaus building (ca 1930), the surrealism of his photograph ‘Seemannsbraut’ (Sailor’s Bride, 1934), and the textile print designs that he created with a typewriter (1932) are examples of the extraordinary creativity of this artist. He also contributed to an advertising campaign for the Jena Glass Company: the first heat-resistant household glassware stood for modern product design and is still regarded as a kitchen classic today.

Shortly before the Bauhaus was closed, Hajo Rose was one of the last students to receive his diploma. Subsequent periods in various cities shaped his biography, which is a special example of the migratory experience shared by many Bauhaus members after 1933. After one year as an assistant in the Berlin office of László Moholy-Nagy, Hajo Rose immigrated to The Netherlands together with Paul Guermonprez, a Bauhaus colleague, in 1934. He worked there as a commercial artist and taught at the Nieuwe Kunstschool in Amsterdam. At the 1937 World Exposition in Paris, he won an award for his poster ‘Amsterdam’. After the Second World War, Rose worked as a graphic designer, photographer and teacher in Dresden and Leipzig. He continued to advocate Bauhaus ideas in the GDR, even though the Bauhaus was regarded in East Germany as bourgeois and formalistic well into the 1960s. Rose resigned from the Socialist Unity Party (SED) – in spite of the loss of his teaching position as a consequence. From that time, he worked as one of the few freelance graphic designers in the GDR. Hajo Rose died at the age of 79 – shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The exhibition ‘Hajo Rose: Bauhaus Photo Typo Graphic’ places a focus on his work at the Bauhaus and in Amsterdam, while also giving a view of his later work.

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