Lecture of John Maciuika

Resonant Patterns: The Work of Kazys Varnelis in the Context of Bauhaus Modernism

This lecture surveys the artistic output of Kazys Varnelis against the background of Bauhaus modernism and the kinds of artistic culture it represented. Although Varnelis was not directly associated with this seminal German School of twentieth-century art, craft, design and architecture, his life paralleled the emergence of the school and the experience of many Bauhaus artists. Like Varnelis, for example, many of the Bauhaus's leading teachers and practitioners were originally émigrés (Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Marcel Breuer from Hungary; Wassily Kandinsky from Russia; Paul Klee and Johannes Itten from Switzerland), and, like Varnelis, Bauhaus members like Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe settled in Chicago after the Second World War. John Maciuika's lecture therefore seeks clues about the larger meaning and significance of Kazys Varnelis's art, not just as the work of an émigré Lithuanian artist, but as a part of larger twentieth-century European and American artistic currents as well. 

John V. Maciuika is a professor of art and architectural history at the City University of New York, Baruch College, and at the CUNY Graduate Center Ph.D. program in art history, where he teaches courses on the history of architecture, art, and design. Professor Maciuika is the author ofBefore the Bauhaus: Architecture, Politics, and the German State, 1890-1920(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). This book was released in a Japanese translation in 2015 with the Sangen-Sha academic press in Tokyo. His research interests include the relationship between architecture, design, and cultural identity in Central Europe and Eastern Europe, with separate articles and book chapters appearing on such figures and topics as Adolf Loos, Hermann Muthesius, the politics of the Bauhaus, the founding of the Deutscher Werkbund, and an article on Lithuanian architecture that is based on interviews in the early 1990s with Lithuanian architects Gediminas Baravykas, Algimantas and Vytautas Nasvytis, Vytautas Čekanauskas, and Vytautas Brėdikis, which appeared in 1999 under the title "East Bloc, West View: Architecture and Lithuanian National Identity", inTraditional Dwellings and Settlements Review11 Nr. 1 (1999): 23-35.

The project is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania.

Entrance is free.

Johnas V. Maciuika. Photo from New York City University Baruch College website.

NDG auditorija
2017 06 29

5.30 p.m.


Lecture of a professor of art and architectural history John Maciuika on the 29th of June at 5.30 p.m. at the Auditorium of the National Gallery of Art.