Andor Weininger

Year of birth, place
1899, Karancs, Hungary
Year of death, place
1986, New York City, United States

Andor Weininger was born in Karancs in 1899. From 1917 to 1918 he studied Law, first at the University of Pécs, then at the University of Budapest. The turbulence of the revolutionary period immediately following the end of the First World War in newly independent Hungary, and particularly in Budapest, interrupted his studies. From 1921 to 1925 he studied in the Mural Painting Workshop, headed by Vasily Kandinsky at the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar. He then switched (until 1928) to the class in design for the stage taught by Osklar Schlemmer after the Bauhaus had moved to Dessau. During these years Weininger's work was interrupted by long periods spent devising cabarets, providing set designs, acting and working as a musician. After 1928 he earned his living in Berlin as an interior decorator and designer. Emigrating to Holland in 1938, he worked as an illustrator and independent painter. In 1951 he emigrated again, this time to Canada, then settled in New York in 1958. Here he worked at the Art Research Center. Weininger died in New York in 1986.

Weininger's work as a artist embraces print-making, painting, illustration, interior decoration and furniture design. It is virtually impossible to divide his artistic career into specific phases because he invariably progressed through resuming and re-working certain central ideas. In his studies he explored for example colour contrast and colour gradation, the problem of shifting perspective and the opposition of planarity and depth. His great enduring interest was the theatre. His endeavour to devise works for the stage that required no human actors led him to the idea of a »mechanical review«, in which three-dimensional versions of geometrical forms would move about on the stage. Elaborating on this idea, he devised his »Abstract Review« of 1926. Further reflections on new possibilities for the theatre, and his readiness to question or eschew theatrical tradition, led him to develop the utopian concept of the »spherical theatre«, in which spectators, seated around the inner sides of the sphere, would watch the action taking place on various stages positioned around its centre. Weininger's wide-ranging work as an artist consists of a great many schemes and projects, and a very few executed works. His conviction that the essence of artistic activity lay in the original idea for, and conceptual elaboration of, a work of art, and not in its technical realization, reveals his intellectual proximity to the Conceptual Artists of a later generation. 

Participation in exhibitions (selection)
1923 »Das Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar«, Staatliches Landesmuseum, Weimar
1927 »Deutsche Theater-Ausstellung«, Mitteldeutsche Ausstellungsgesellschaft, Magdeburg
1930 »Das Problemtheater, zusammengestellt vom Theaterwissenschaftlichen Institut der Universität zu Köln«, Kunstgewerbe-Museum, Cologne, subsequently at Museum Folkwang, Essen; Gewerbemuseum, Basle; Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Duisburg
1934 »Kunst und Handwerk-Ausstellung«, Berlin
1938 »Bauhaus 1919-1928«, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
1948 »Amsterdamse Schilders van Nu«, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
1949 »Amsterdamse Schilders van Nu«, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; »De Keerkring«, Museum Fodor, Amsterdam
1950 »Amsterdamse Schilders van Nu«, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; »Salon des Réalités Nouvelles«, Paris
1951 »Ausstellung der Künstlergruppe Creatie«, Museum Fodor, Amsterdam; »Ausstellung der Künstlergruppe Creatie«, t'Venster, Rotterdam
1952 »Canadian Abstract Exhibition«, South Ontario Galleries, YWCA, Oshawa, subsequently at Willistead Art Gallery, Windsor, Ontario; a venue in Toronto; The Elsie Perrin Memorial Art Museum, London, Ontario
1956 »International Collage«, Rose Fried Gallery, New York; »Andrew Weininger - Antonio Music«, Eglinton Gallery, Toronto
1957 »São Paolo Bienal«, São Paulo
1961 »Bauhaus - Zweite Generation«, Galerie Suzanne Bollag, Zürich
1966 »Bauhaus - Exhibition«, Carpenter Center, Cambridge/MA
1968 »50 Jahre Bauhaus«, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, subsequently at Royal Academy, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and at venues in Chicago, Toronto, Buenos Aires and Tokyo
1976 »Bauhaus- Color«, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, subsequently at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, CA; »bauhäusler in amerika«, Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin
1977 »Tendenzen der Zwanziger Jahre«, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Neue Nationalgalerie, Akademie der Künste, Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin
1979 »Ungarische Konstruktivistische Kunst 1920-1977«, Kunstverein, Munich; »Visionary Drawings of Architecture and Planning«, The Drawing Center, New York
1982 »The Art of the Bauhaus«, Helen Serger / La Boetie Inc., New York
1983 »Kandinsky - Russian and Bauhaus Years«, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, subsequently at The High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Kunsthaus, Zürich, and at a venue in Berlin; »Klassiker der Avantgarde - Die ungarischen Konstruktivisten«, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck; »Utopian Visions in Modern Art - Dreams and Nightmares«, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution Washington, D.C.
1985 »Vom Klang der Bilder - Die Musik in der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts«, Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
1986 »Raumkonzepte - Konstruktivistische Tendenzen in Bühnen- und Bildkunst 1910-1930«, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt/M; »Die Maler und das Theater im 20. Jahrhundert«, Schirn Kunsthalle, Franfurt/M; »Wechsel-Wirkungen - Ungarische Avantgarde in der Weimarer Republik«, Neue Galerie, Kassel
1987 »Wien und die ungarischen Konstruktivisten«, Collegium Hungaricum, Vienna
1988 »Vom Himmel durch die Welt zur Hölle«, Kunstverein, Cologne; »bauhaus utopien Arbeiten auf Papier«, Kunstverein, Cologne; Magyar Nemzeti Galeria, Budapest; Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; »Maschinenmenschen«, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin
1989 »Ungarische Graphik im Ausland - Deutschland 1919-1933«, Petöfie Irodalmi Muzeum, Budapest, subsequently at Haus der ungarischen Kultur, Berlin

[Konstanze Thümmel, 1997]