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Bauhaus and America

Experiments in Light and Movement

Münster, LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur

With the exhibition “Bauhaus and America. Experiments in Light and Movement” the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur transcends borders.

It intentionally focuses on artists who, after the Bauhaus was closed in 1933, emigrated to America to carry forward their ideas and experiments there. Starting with the Bauhaus stage as an interdisciplinary laboratory for experiments in light and movement, the diverse controversies in this field are examined for the first time. Ranging from light and kinetic art to experimental film and dance and performance art, this epoch-spanning exhibition shows the far-reaching influence of these interactions. As early as in the 1950s the ideas were having a reverse influence from America on Europe and are still reflected in contemporary art today. That is why the exhibition not only concentrates on the positions of the Bauhaus and its American successor institutions, but spans developments right up to the present.

Loans from major international museums, such as the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate in London and many others, offer an insight into the experimental work of artists as different as Josef Albers, Barbara Morgan, John Cage, Lucinda Childs, László Moholy-Nagy, Robert Rauschenberg, Oskar Schlemmer, Julian Stanczak and James Turrell as well as Marcel Dzama, Barbara Kasten and Daria Martin.

Light spaces

One highlight of the exhibition is the side-by-side display of a 2006 replica of the famous "Licht-Raum-Modulator" of László Moholy-Nagy and of the 1923 apparatus "Farbenlichtspiele" of Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, which, for the first time in many years, can be seen together in Germany again. With the reactivation of these light play devices, the museum enables a unique light-space experience. Moholy-Nagy's "Licht-Raum-Modulator" can be seen in action every day at 11 AM and 4 PM for 15 minutes. The loans were made possible through the generous support of the foundation kunst³, the museum’s donors, and the Friends of the Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Inc.

Dance performance “MESH”

The impact of the Bauhaus stage on modern dance is also taken into account: The German-American choreographers Matthias Markstein and Isaac Spencer, together with stage designer Nora Maria Bräuer, have created a performance that will be staged at the museum as part of the exhibition on eight separate occasions.

9-10 November 2018
29-30 December 2018
2-3 February 2019
9-10 March 2019

TanzTheaterMünster “Unknown Territories”

The museum cooperates on a supra-institutional level with TanzTheaterMünster. Under the direction of the choreographer Hans Henning Paar, the theater has developed the multidisciplinary evening „Unknown Territories,“ which brings the ideas of the Bauhaus into the present day and celebrates its premiere on 19 October 2018. For more information go to


An exhibition catalogue (in German or English) features texts by Hermann Arnhold, Kristin Bartels, Torsten Blume, Ulrike Gärtner, Andreas Hapkemeyer, Julie Jones, Gail Kirkpatrick, Marijke Lukowicz, Márton Orosz, Tanja Pirsig-Marshall, Jeannette Redensek, Eline Van Dijk published by Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld.

More information




  • Follow the Bauhaus into the world!


LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur
Domplatz 10
48143 Münster, Deutschland

Opening hours

  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • Saturday:
  • Sunday:

Das Museum ist am zweiten Freitag im Monat von 10 bis 22 Uhr geöffnet.


  • Audio guide

Funding formula

The exhibition "Bauhaus and America. Experiments in Light and Movement" is part of 100 years bauhaus im Westen" – a project of the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia and the regional associations of Rhineland and Westphalia-Lippe. Further cooperation partners are the Provinzial Foundation of the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, the Kunststiftung NRW, the kunst³ Foundation and the Friends of the Museum für Kunst und Kultur e.V.

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