Avant Garde in the Mainstream

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By: Steven Heller | March 31, 2010


Beginning in 1929 (lasting until 1943), a unique picture/lifestyle magazine was published in Germany. Die Neue Linie, with covers by Herbert Bayer, among others, was the the embodiment of modernity (perhaps the Wallpaper of its day). Few other mainstream publications were as avant garde. Now a book (cover above) in English (and German), Die Neue Linie: The Bauhaus at the Newsstand, chronicles the magazine’s history through the glory years of German progressive art and design into the Nazi period (when the magazine was surprisingly left unscathed by anti-modern decrees).

A generous number of its signature modern collage and montagecovers are shown in the book (which I found at the Strand), as are the interior spreads which arguably influencedsubsequent fashion and lifestyle art direction for years to follow.

The magazine is a vivid record of the transition fromthe frenzied Weimar era to the Nazi dictatorship. After slipping into post-war obscurity, a 2009exhibition, Die Neue Linie: Bauhaus at the Kiosk at Bauhaus Museum in Weimar, resurrected it. For more information, a review appears in the Irish Times. (Covers and billboard below.)

Avant Garde in the Mainstream
die neue linie