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Treppe mit zwei Figuren und Kopf

[6]
Oskar Schlemmer
(1888-1943)
Treppe mit zwei Figuren und Kopf (Staircase with Two Figures and Head), ca. 1924

Watercolor and pencil on silk paper, 10.6 x 8.7 in.
Sammlung DaimlerChrysler


As Schlemmer wrote, “Representing the human form will always be the artist’s great parable,” and this large-format mural sketch (5) – intended as a frieze for the Berlin home of the architect Erich Mendelsohn – manifests the central role of the human figure in his work. It shows Schlemmer’s rendition of the typified human being integrated into a spatial concept in which architecture and the human form complement one other in a universally conceived concept. In it, depth is implied by means of the superimposition of figures. An earlier study (6), produced during his years as a Bauhaus teacher, also reveals this affinity between the human figure and the architectural space. It is part of a series, showing persons from behind ascending a staircase, that culminated in his celebrated 1932 painting of the Bauhaus staircase.


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