100 years of bauhaus IV: THE CURONIAN SPIT: Kazimieras Mizgiris | Alfred Ehrhardt

September 21 to December 22, 2019

Curator: Dr. Christiane Stahl
Septe,ber 21 to Decem
Opening: Friday, September 20, 2019, 7-9 pm


The Curonian Spit, with its unique, drifting sand dunes and sand formations reshaped daily by the wind, has fascinated and inspired generations of writers, artists, and photographers. The spit’s ninety-six-kilometer-long strip of sand dunes was once part of East Prussia and today belongs to Russia and Lithuania.

The exhibition, the fourth in the 100 years of bauhaus series, showcases the photographic work of the Lithuanian amber collector and photographer Kazimieras Mizgiris (b. 1950). Based in Nida, the artist’s intimate knowledge of sand-dune formations on the Curonian Spit is unrivalled. For decades, he has visited the drifting dunes of the “Baltic Sahara”—located just outside his front door—with his camera early in the morning, primarily in spring and autumn. His images of bizarre formations recalling prehistoric animals, produced by the interplay of wind, sand, and ice, are unique given the short-lived nature of the formations. Created in the spring when frozen water in the sand thaws, they leave behind icy sand-stelea that melt over the course of the day in the sunlight, crumble in the wind, and finally collapse.

These are presented alongside Alfred Ehrhardt’s abstract photographs of the Curonian Spit from 1934, which, in contrast to Mizgiris’s images, evince the strict formal vocabulary of a structuralist trained at the Bauhaus in Dessau. As his 1938 book Die Kurische Nehrung (The Curonian Spit) describes, his intention was less about “portraying a ‘beautiful’ landscape, than it was tapping into the vastness of a still-pristine and primeval landscape. [...] The clarity of nature’s crystalline, formal language has always been man’s greatest teacher.”

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