The Kunstakademie Würzburg is somewhat less well-known than the similarly named Düsseldorf school and not nearly as influential as the Bauhaus academy. However, this de stijl styled art academy definitely stood out in the Bavarian town known for its traditional, baroque architecture. It’s work and philosophy is not without its proponents too. I tried to gain acceptance into the school but they saw my work as largely derivative, disappointing and dreary. Hence I’ve never lived in the dormitories of this revered place… and sadly never will.
One of the most well known features of the school was the kinetic sculpture that sat above the student courtyard. The work was commissioned from Czech artist Otto Černý who wanted “to display the power of the wind so we will never take a gentle breeze for granted again”.
Černý was successful in that mission though he perhaps hadn’t considered that the power of the wind may occasionally get above a gentle breeze. Consequently, staff and students alike could often be seen unclipping the geometric hangings from window frames and other obstructions on windy days.
One of the more famous elements of the school’s output was that of their sculpture artists. Revolutionary in its time, the class was usually taught by none other than Černý himself. The focus was on expression of emotion and thought in abstract form.
Students could be seen all throughout Würzburg digging through scraps at the Fraunhofer ISC, finding discarded food from Herzogenstraße tables and even pilfering broken violin strings from the players at the nearby Collegium Musicum Academicum. Bold mixed-media pieces could be seen throughout the school with simple names underneath like Lächeln and Wimmern. Take, for instance, the exhibition catalog from the 1954 show: Fabrikmontagen für Wolkenhäuser.
The success of the school was immense. That is until, as a conceptual experiment, the student body committed to a nihilistic piece of Stanislavsky performance art. The students, in unison, played characters that were exactly like themselves in every way except that the Kunstakademie Würzburg never existed and they weren’t students of it. Naturally, as there wasn’t a school there was no reason to be there. They left in droves. Professors, now so impressed with their student body thought this a new zenith in performance art and quickly adopted all the character traits too.
Ever since this day the building has remained unoccupied. So, naturally, I have never lived there.
You can buy prints of all of the Places I’ve never lived here: Three Pronged Widget's Store
I recently started a new newsletter posting Excavations (things I’ve found online), Recommendations and Accounts and the first ‘account’ post was all about the first five places I drew for this newsletter. So it might interest you. Click here to see.
Also, sorry I haven’t posted lately. Life is so busy. Please comment if you liked this, it’ll keep me making them.
If you enjoyed this please do one, some or all of the things below, thanks.
Subscribe | Share This Post | Visit Website | Subscribe to our Misadventure Adventure newsletter | Subscribe to our Ex/Rec/Acc newsletter | Subscribe to our Filmed With A Toothbrush newsletter | Donate To Us
It was probably the happiest moment during my morning coffee reading about the secrets of Kunstakademie Würzburg. And I will patiently wait for the next place you have never lived.
This is the latest edition of Places I’ve Never Lived after a looong hiatus. Enjoy my little piece of flash in the pan fiction with illustrations and animations.