fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Karla Grosch
La Biennale di Venezia

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Karla Grosch

1904, Germany – 1933, Israel

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    FRI - SAT UNTIL 25/09
    11 AM - 8 PM

    TUE - SUN
    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Having studied under the famous Gret Palucca, with a training grounded in the principles of Expressionist dance, the dancer and athlete Karla Grosch adopted a rhythmic, dynamic style based on dramatic movements and geometric poses. The few photos that document her approach were taken by the painter and photographer T. Lux Feininger and capture Grosch’s theatrical collaboration with Oskar Schlemmer. The latter, who headed the Bauhaus theatre department, cast the dancer in the 1929 production Materialtänze, and at the Volksbühne theatre in Berlin, she performed two unusual pieces dedicated to metal – Metalltanz – and glass – Glastanz. While the former is characterised by sheet-metal components amid which the dancer performs incredible athletic movements, the latter features costumes that severely limit Grosch’s range of motion, with a skirt of long, thin crystal rods creating the sense of a strange, divine being, half human and half robot. In Futurist style, and showing the fascination with technology that Schlemmer shared with the European avant- gardes, the images documenting these dances hint at a new dynamic governing body and mind: as the former is modified by costumes and by futuristic settings, the latter grows more powerful, with an expanded, artificial intelligence that mirrors the elements grafted onto its physical structure. 

Stefano Mudu


Glastanz, by Oskar Schlemmer, 1929. Black-and-white photograph, 17.4 × 11.4 cm. Photo Robert Binnemann.
Courtesy Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin

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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte