In this, the first monograph of Richard Filipowski, a major figure bridging the Bauhaus and American midcentury modernism finally gets his due.
Richard Filipowski (1923-2008) was among the most gifted polymaths in the annals of American modernism. Whether as a painter, sculptor, or designer of furniture and jewelry, Filipowski developed a lush, abstract, and amazingly consistent visual language that marks him among the finest figures of midcentury art and design.
As a student at the Institute of Design (formerly the New Bauhaus) in Chicago, he quickly became a protégé of founder László Moholy-Nagy, who featured several of Filipowski’s works in his seminal text Vision in Motion(1947); Filipowski was the only student Moholy-Nagy called upon to join the faculty, where he taught alongside Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Recruited by Gropius to develop a course in design fundamentals at Harvard, which remains a cornerstone of design pedagogy to this day, he would move to MIT where he taught for more than three decades, until his retirement in 1988.
With a foreword by László Moholy-Nagy’s daughter Hattula, Richard Filipowski: Art and Design Beyond the Bauhaus is the first monograph of this master, who over the course of his career created a unique body of work in diverse media that has largely, until recently, been held in private collections due to his relative lack of compulsion to seek media attention or worldly rewards. But now through the efforts of the Filipowski family and new attention by design scholars–several of whom contribute essays here on Filipowski’s graphic and painted works, sculpture, furniture, and position in design history–the work is being revealed to a new generation of aficionados. Richard Filipowski is a rich document of a life and career that is poised to reenter the canon of modernism.