Monday, April 11, 2011

The Most Progressive Magazine of its Time, a Work of Art

by Stephen J. Gertz

1922, no. 2. Cover by Johannes Carolus Bernardus Sluijters.

A rare, complete run of Wendingen,  the distinctive, essential, and highly significant magazine dedicated to modern architecture and design, has come to market.

The magazine, numbering 116 issues, includes specials on Frank Lloyd Wright, Josef Hoffmann, Erich Mendelsohn, Eileen Gray, Jan Toorop, Gustav Klimt, Diego Rivera, Lyonel Feininger, etc. The magnificent cover by El Lissitzky for Volume IV No. 11 is considered to be one of his greatest compositions.

Volume 7, No. 3, 1925. Cover by Frank Lloyd Wright. 
The Life-Work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

"In Holland, the birthplace of De Stijl, modernism took various routs that ran the aesthetic gamut from hybridized Art Nouveau to systematic rationalism. Somewhere between these poles was the magazine Wendingen (Upheaval), one of the principal sources for the chronicling of twentieth-cetury design and architecture.

"Published between 1918 and 1931, virtually all of its 116 issues were edited and designed by Hendrik Theodorus Wijdeveld (1885-1989), a Dutch architect and designer who trained under Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Vol. 4, No. 11, 1921.  Cover by El Lissitzky.

"Influenced by Nieuwe Kunst (Dutch Art Nouveau), Wendingen was resolutely eclectic in in design and content, and gave equal coverage to Expressionist, individualist, and even mystical sensibilities...

Volume 10, No. 8, 1929. Cover by J. L. M. Lauweriks

R. Roland Holst. Schelpen. Amsterdam, 1923.
Cover by R. Roland Holst.

"Wendingen was printed in an unprecedented square format (34.25 cm; 13 1/2 in.) on high-grade paper, each page was on one side of a sheet that was folded into two pages ina Japanese block-bookbinding process...Wendingen published covers by some of the movement's principal designers - among them El Lissitzky for an issue on Frank Lloyd Wright, and De Stijl artist Vilmos Huszar for one on Diego Rivera...

1920. Cover by Bernard Essers.

July 1924. Cover by Hermann Finsterlin.

"Wendingen's distinctive architectonic  layout and rectilinear type design provided a forum for a wide range of Wijdeveld's concerns, from Art Deco to Javanese ornament, from architecture to political cartoon.

1929 - 3 Diego Rivera

"Wendingen was 'one of the most progressive magazines of its time, a work of art,' wrote historian Alston Purvis. 'It differed from other avant-garde that it was a vehicle for the message, rather than the message itself.'

1919 - 3 Dansnummer.

Volume 4, No. 12. 1921. Cover by B. Bijvoet en J. Duiker.

"The magazine was a bridge between the disorder of the previous century and the new century's design. It advanced the grand notion of Gesamtkunstwerk - that all art fed a common functional purpose - but was none the less an alternative to the strict rationalism of the orthodox modernists" (Steven Heller, Merz to Emigre and Beyond).

10 Architectuur, 1918. Cover by S. Jessurun.


Cover images, with our thanks, courtesy of Ars Libri Ltd, which is currently offering this magtnificent, complete run of Wendingen.


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