Otto Bartning (1883-1959). Architect of Social Modernism

Stahlkirche on the grounds of the International Press Exhibition (Pressa), Cologne, 1928

Le Corbusier, Otto Bartning and Hans Scharoun (from left to right) during the
opening of the exhibition "Le Corbusier - Architektur, Malerei, Plastik, Wandteppiche", 7 Sept 1957, Berlin

Emergency church programme after 1946: Johanneskirche, Wuppertal-Elberfeld, 1948/49

Gynaecological clinic, Darmstadt, 1954

Musikheim, main hall, Frankfurt/Oder, 1929

Deutscher Reichspavillon building site, Milan Fair, 1926

Architect, creative force and organisational talent – Otto Bartning was an exceptionally complex figure. Together with Walter Gropius and Bruno Taut, he was a member of the Arbeitsrat für Kunst (Workers Council for Art) formed in the wake of the German Revolution in 1918. As such, he belonged to the leading figures calling for modernism in architecture. As an important innovator in the process of reconstruction after the Second World War and in his work advising the city of Berlin, he consistently advocated a form of social modernism that responded to people’s needs.

This comprehensive retrospective now presents Bartning’s multifaceted oeuvre and illustrates the wide spectrum of his interests and talents through original drawings and sketches, photos, and architectural models. The exhibition, curated by Sandra Wagner-Conzelmann, shows how Bartning’s work and arguments, strongly informed by his social concerns, are still just as topical and relevant today.

An exhibition by the Akademie der Künste, Berlin and the Wüstenrot Stiftung, in cooperation with the Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, the Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt and Technische Universität Darmstadt. Funded by the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin.


Exhibition also showing at

Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, 22 July – 22 Oct 2017
Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, 19 Nov 2017 – 18 March 2018